Slotkin Adds Amendment To Dems Voting Rights Bill
March 8, 2019
The Democrat-controlled U.S. House has approved a sweeping campaign finance, voting rights and ethics reform bill with an amendment targeting Russian influence being put forward by 8th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin. But the leader of Republican-run Senate has pledged it will not come up for a vote and the White House has issued a veto threat.
The measure would make it easier for people to register and vote, tighten election security and require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns. The “For the People Act” passed on a straight party-line vote 234-193 - with all Democrats voting “yes” and all Republicans voting “no.” Democrats say it would reduce the role of big money in politics, reduce government corruption, ensure fair elections and strengthen ethics standards. Election Day would become a holiday for federal workers. Republicans have criticized the legislation, calling it partisan and a Democratic power grab that amounts to a federal takeover of elections. Republicans argue it would stifle political speech, endorse public financing of federal campaigns and give the federal government too much control over local elections. The proposal is dead on arrival in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, has vowed not to bring up the bill for a vote in his chamber and argues the bill would impose potentially unconstitutional restrictions on political speech.
The legislation meanwhile has been deemed a priority for 8th District Representative Elissa Slotkin, who campaigned on government reform. Slotkin has referenced the overall broken system, commenting both parties are broken and money in politics is what's driving everybody in Washington D.C. The Holly Democrat led a group of candidates asking that the legislation be made a top priority for the new Congress. Slotkin has championed elements of the bill, including requiring the disclosure of all political spending and ensuring foreign money may not influence U.S. elections. Slotkin put forward an amendment that was adopted Thursday night to close loopholes that allow foreign actors to purchase digital, television or radio ads to influence elections. It’s in response to concerns regarding the influence of Russian-bought Facebook advertisements during the 2016 election. Some contained anti-Muslim messages and targeted Michigan and Wisconsin among other states. Slotkin wants to introduce that amendment separately to garner bipartisan co-sponsors and improve chances of passing in the Senate. Photo: C-SPAN. (JM)