America is in the midst of a fight for its future, three Republican U.S. House members said during the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Monday forum.
Among the most dangerous items aimed at the country is House Resolution 1, an effort to revise elections across the country, they argue. HR 1 passed the House on March 3 and is currently before the Senate.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) discussed HR 1 with Texas Public Policy Foundation CEO Kevin Roberts in a presentation streamed on several sites. It is still available for viewing.
Efforts are under way through legislation in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin to change election laws.
HR 1, labeled the For the People Act, passed the House in 2019 but the Republican-controlled Senate ignored it. After it passed the House 234-193 on a party-line vote, it is under consideration in the 50-50 Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris can break a tie.
“They call it for the people, but it’s for the politicians, particularly Democrat politicians,” Budd said.
“So let’s pray for Joe Manchin that he stays strong,” Budd said. “And secondly, let’s be grateful for our state legislatures. Let’s keep let’s keep encouraging them to be mindful of their rights when it comes to the U.S. Constitution.”
Roy said states are playing a crucial role in fighting for election security.
“I know we’re here to talk about HR 1, but what we’re doing at the state level is so critical for what we’re trying to do to stop the legislation in Washington,” he said. “Texas taking action on the heels of what we’ve seen in Florida and Georgia and Iowa and other states around the country is so critically important. HB 6, SB 7, as you pointed out, are going even further and ensuring that we’ve got voter I.D. attached to mail-in ballots.”
Roy said there is clear evidence of problems associated with mail-in voting.
“If you go look at bipartisan agreement that if you have mail-in ballots, you have 1% to 2% increase in fraud associated with mail-in ballots. That’s the [Jimmy] Carter-[James]Baker commission … the 2005 bipartisan report studies that have indicated that,” he said. “There are a lot of things that we’ve got to look at ensuring that we’ve got voter ID and make sure that we’ve got integrity in our system.”
Budd noted that in North Carolina election laws have been debated with voters, the legislature and federal judges all getting involved. He said voter ID is just common sense, but there is a more important issue at stake.
“What we see with HR 1 is even bigger than that is a Washington takeover of elections,” Budd said. “And if you thought 2020 was chaotic when it came to the election in November and beyond, well, this codifies and it makes it the law everything that made 2020 chaotic when it came to elections. And this is totally in favor of the Democrats and it’s about them being in power forever.”
Hice, who is running for Georgia secretary of state, said Georgia “was a disaster” in 2020, and if HR 1 becomes law, that will be the norm. He said Georgia has 7 million registered voters, but there is likely a 10% error rate.
He said hundreds of thousands of illegal voters obtained ballots. However, three Georgia statewide recounts of the presidential vote turned up no major problems.
Hice said the voting bill passed by Georgia this year makes sense and will stand up to legal challenges.
He said using driver’s license numbers to help verify identity is an excellent idea. They are usually private and provide a significant level of security.
“We all know that the only reason that someone would not want voter ID when it comes to vote is because of deep down fraud in that election system,” Hice said. “We just can’t we can’t go there. Other people just can’t go steal your driver’s license number, at least not very easily. So I think that’s a good step forward.”
The congressmen were asked about a Convention of States and amending the Constitution, as is detailed in Article 5. All expressed support for it, with Budd saying he favored a targeted approach based on election reform.
“I don’t know that we’ve ever been in a time where we literally have a major party in our system that is taking us away from our constitutional rule of law,” he said. “When have we been here before, where we have a liberal, socialist, Marxist movement that consists of a major party within our system of government, and they are drastically and rapidly pulling us away from our constitutional foundation?
“There’s a lot at stake,” Hice said. “We are in the fight of our life for this country and for everyone to step up and engage this thing from multiple options in every way that we possibly can, I believe is necessary.”
Roy said states must continue to battle the overreach of the federal government.
“I think it goes back to what I was saying before about states, states and I think governors acting,” he said. “Turn down the additional supplemental unemployment benefits. That’s a good step.”
He said some of his constituents have asked if Texas should remain part of the union, especially with an unsecured border. Roy said there are times he wonders what has happened to America, with undocumented people pouring across the border, drug cartels, guns laws under fire and people battling for the right to choose their own doctor.
“Are we actually free in this great country? I would argue that we’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to live free,” he said. “And it starts with having elections and it starts in the states and it makes sure it ends with all of us in Congress holding the line and making sure that senators are doing their part and all the time.”
All three congressmen said they are confident the nation will overcome these challenges.
“We’ve got to think generationally, this is not just me or my generation,” Budd said. “And every generation up until now in this country has made it better for the next generation until this one. We have to reverse that course and make it better for all of our children and for those beyond.”