A Senate Rules Committee hearing was expected to get heated Tuesday during debate on a federal election reform bill that Republicans call a would-be “power grab.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tweeted Monday evening that he will put up a fight against the bill, HR 1, which passed the House in a party-line vote. “Democrats’ partisan power-grab ‘election reform’ bill is not about voting rights. It’s about letting Washington Democrats control the terms of political debate and all 50 states’ election laws. Republicans will expose this attempted D.C. takeover in tomorrow’s hearing,” McConnell tweeted. They must prevail - Dems are trying to stack the political deck in their favor.
Democrats say the bill is needed to override GOP state laws that passed after the 2020 election, including ones that require IDs for absentee ballots. The package has become a rallying cry for both sides, even though it has little chance of passing the Senate due to a 60-vote supermajority required for most bills. McConnell, who is one of nine Republicans on the Rules Committee, recently said the bill “would neuter voter I.D. in all 50 states, make the Federal Election Commission a partisan body, and legalize ballot harvesting, where paid political operatives can show up carrying stacks of other people’s ballots.”
Prominent Republicans on the committee include Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). On the Democratic side, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) chairs the committee and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer serves as a member. Although the committee is evenly divided between parties, legislation can still pass to the Senate floor with a tied vote.