Washington, D.C. — Today, Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the Promoting Free and Fair Elections Act. He was joined by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Roger Marshall (R-KS).
The bill would prohibit federal agencies from using taxpayer funds to implement or enter into agreements with partisan organizations that conduct voter mobilization activities.
Sen. Budd said in a statement:
“The federal government and its millions of employees should not be using official resources to advance partisan politics. President Biden’s executive order empowering every federal agency to engage in electioneering on the taxpayers’ dime raises serious ethical and legal concerns. This sweeping directive is inherently political and directed primarily at groups expected to vote for one party over another.”
- On March 7, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14019, titled “Promoting Access to Voting.”
- The EO commands the head of every federal agency to submit to the President’s Domestic Policy Advisor, a plan outlining the steps their agency will take to “promote voter registration and voter participation.”
- The EO mandates that all federal agencies support “approved” third-party organizations to provide voter registration services on federal agency premises located in states across the nation. Determining which third-party organizations will be approved, by whom, and based on what criteria is missing from the EO.
- On January 19, 2022, Senator Budd and 35 of his colleagues wrote to the White House requesting copies of the strategic plans submitted under the EO. The White House never responded to the request and has refused to publicly disclose the plans.
The Promoting Free and Fair Elections Act:
- The legislation prevents the Biden administration from using the power, resources, and reach of the federal executive branch, and federal offices located in states across the country, from engaging in voter registration and mobilization efforts designed to benefit Democrats.
- The bill prohibits the actions ordered under President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 14019, titled “Promoting Access to Voting,” from being carried out until the agencies disclose to Congress how they intend to carry out these programs.
- The bill prohibits soliciting or entering into an agreement with a third-party group to conduct voter registration or voter mobilization activities on federal property anywhere in the country, or on any federal agency website.
- In addition, the bill prohibits voter registration and voter mobilization activities in federal work study programs.
- Strategic plans to carry out activities directed under EO 14019 may not be implemented until at least 180 days after submitting to Congress a copy of the plan, unless those activities are required under federal law.