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WSJ Opinion: Pelosi's Push For a Permanent Majority

Potomac Watch: Democrats cast aside concerns over mail-in and absentee ballots this week to vote for H.R.1, surrendering the right of their own states to set election rules. Image: Lenin Nolly/Zuma Wire

Video Transcript

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: This is called the "For the People" bill. And in doing so, we combat big, dark, special-interest money in politics, and amplify the voice of the American people.

KIMBERLY A. STRASSEL: It was in 2019 that Nancy Pelosi first launched Democratic efforts to water-down voting rules. Her House this week passed their bill, H.R.1, on a straight, party-line vote.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Imagine, looking at this national landscape-- where we've seen the losing side doubt the legitimacy of two consecutive presidential elections-- and thinking this is the time for a sweeping, one-party rewrite of election law.

KIMBERLY A. STRASSEL: All anyone wants in their electoral system is fairness and trust. Yet the 2020 election has caused millions of Americans to lose faith in the system, inspiring a new debate over mail-in and absentee voting.

CONGRESSWOMAN ZOE LOFGREN: After that enormous turnout, we saw Republican legislatures all over the country try and stop that voting. To stop the absentee voting, to impose barriers to make it harder for Americans to vote.

SENATOR RAND PAUL: I-- I'm terrified of election integrity. And I'm all for election integrity, but the opposite of what Nancy Pelosi thinks that is. I think we need to have in-person voting, and it needs to remain in control of the states.

KIMBERLY A. STRASSEL: Amazon, last year, released a documentary called "All In-- the Fight for Democracy," in which Stacey Abrams made sweeping claims about voter suppression. Miss Abrams lost Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial election to Republican Brian Kemp, by a "whopping" 50,000 votes.

STACEY ABRAMS: I knew something had gone horribly wrong. The system that is supposed to protect our democracy didn't work the way it was supposed to.

KIMBERLY A. STRASSEL: Democrats are still claiming that suppression, even in the wake of the highest-turnout election in history, promoting changes that would lead to a further loss of confidence in our elections.

KEVIN MCCARTHY: This bill automatically registers voters from the DMV and other government databases, such as food stamps. Currently, an estimated 24 million voter records, across the country, appear to be inaccurate or invalid. And as we saw during the pandemic, this created chaos and confusion.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Every state would be forced to allow ballot harvesting, where paid political operatives can show up carrying a stack of ballots with other people's names on them.

KIMBERLY A. STRASSEL: Democrats cast aside those concerns this week to vote for H.R.1, surrendering the right of their own states to set election rules.

SENATOR RAND PAUL: I think you need to vote in person. But I think we also need to make it such that Secretaries of State and the government shouldn't be out paying-- and using taxpayer money-- to go to your house with ballots and applications to vote.

KIMBERLY A. STRASSEL: Now the bill crosses to the Senate, where under current rules it would need 60 votes to pass.

CONGRESSMAN TOM COLE: There's no way this bill-- which is very partisan, really designed to maintain the Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate-- would never get that number of votes.