The "For the People Act" -- or, as it should be called, the Stick-It-to-The-People Act -- is so bad that one Democrat was willing to risk of the wrath of his party to stop it. Wednesday, to the surprise of his entire caucus, Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) did something the Left couldn't believe: he listened to his district. When Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) put a bill on the table that would strip away every election safeguard in the country, people thought Thompson's vote was a sure thing. After all, he'd cosponsored the legislation. But when the time came to go down to the House floor, Bennie couldn't do it. His constituents opposed parts of the bill, he said later. And they're the ones he works for.
"I always listen and vote in the interest of my constituents," Thompson told stunned reporters later. The only "no" vote in the whole Democratic Party, Thompson said it was hearing from the people that made up his mind. In the end, he decided to stand with them over Pelosi. Thompson, who has a lifetime score of six percent on FRC Action's scorecard, isn't exactly a conservative on life or family. But he is an example of political courage -- and the kind of impact Americans can make when they get involved and make their voices heard.
Too often, I think we make the mistake that our congressmen aren't listening. We look at the letter after their names and assume their minds are made up. And maybe they are. But if we aren't contacting our leaders -- if we aren't speaking up -- then we're just responsible for what's happening in this country as Nancy Pelosi. This legislation is probably the single greatest attack on voting integrity that's ever darkened Congress's door. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was beside himself that the bill was even considered. "Every American should be OUTRAGED by this. Democrats just voted to ban voter ID nationwide and force every state to permanently expand mail-in voting."
When you get right down to it, Democrats are scared. They think the only way they can hold onto power is to manipulate election laws. Deep down, they know that if our system is honest and open, liberal candidates and agendas would lose. That's why they're trying to institutionalize what happened in 2020 as quickly as they can. They're terrified that this wave of election reforms will send them back to the minority. Pelosi basically said as much Wednesday. "At the same time as we are gathering here to honor our democracy, across the country over 200 bills are being put together, provisions they're putting forward, to suppress the vote."
In a backhanded compliment to the states, she and her party obviously feel very threatened by what's happening right now in legislatures across the nation. They're watching the surge of reforms spread like wildfire and panicking. Everyone heard as much on the House floor, when Pelosi went ballistic over Georgia's new voter restrictions. She lashed out with surprising ferocity, slamming it as "draconian," warning that it would "end weekend voting, slash the number of mail-in ballot drop boxes, impose restrictive voter ID for mail ballots, among other actions." Their issues "are losers," she said pathetically, "And that's why they're engaged."
Actually, it's the Democrats' ideas that are losers. If they weren't, Pelosi wouldn't be worried about what legal voters had to say about them. The reality is, all most Americans have ever wanted is a fair and free vote. It's pretty simple, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed out. "If [Democrats] want to hold onto power, they need to perform well, pass sound policies, and earn the support of voters again. [They] do not get to take their razor-thin majority -- which voters just shrunk -- and use it to steamroll states and localities to try and prevent themselves from losing even more seats next time."
The bill has one goal: stopping the states from addressing the problems that were exposed in last November. It won't make elections more secure. It will make them easier to manipulate. Congressman Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), like most Republicans, understands exactly what this is about. "This would lock in what happened in the last election. It's a historically unprecedented power grab for total control over election processes." And guess what? That's not constitutional. "The states are the lab of democracy," Bishop pointed out. They're the ones the Founders trusted to oversee elections -- in part to keep the power distributed and balanced across the government.
H.R. 1 would upend that. "They want to consolidate Democratic power so they can never be challenged again. [They want to] use the federal government to take all of that over... All of the things that make fraud easier, they are going to require, like forcing online, automated voter registration, same-day voter registration, where you can't verify who the person is, no excuse mail-in ballots, and ballot harvesting." One of the worst aspects, Bishop warns, is the federal funding of campaigns. " They'll put $6 of taxpayers money into every campaign for every dollar raised in the campaigns. They'll strip legislatures of their power to set districts and put that in the hands of bureaucrats everywhere. They'll make [the FEC] a completely partisan body. It's all these things that have been rejected by the majority of legislatures across the country. And they used the absurd title of being 'for the people...'"
Right now, H.R. 1 is headed to a 50-50 Senate, where even a single vote can make all the difference. So what can you do? Simple: Take a page out of Mississippi's 2nd District. Bennie Thompson didn't vote against a bill he cosponsored because he wanted to. He voted against it because his constituents were too loud to ignore. "Write your legislators," Dan urged. A lot is riding on what moderate Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) will do. "So I would write my two senators and Senator Manchin's office and say, 'Do not pass this law.'" And then, Dan went on, "I would turn to my state legislatures at the same time and say, 'These bills that you're pursuing are extremely important. Please spare no effort. We demand that the integrity of our elections be restored."