GOP warns HR 1 could be ‘absolutely devastating for Republicans’

H.R. 1, known as the For the People Act, seeks to abolish hurdles to voting, reform the role of money in politics and tighten federal ethics rules. Among the key tenets of the bill to overhaul the nation’s election system: allowing for no-excuse mail voting, at least 15 days of early voting, automatic voter registration and restoring voting rights to felons who have completed their prison sentences.


Democrats’ comprehensive bill passed the House — for the second time — nearly along party lines earlier this month and was introduced in the Senate this week. But it faces steep opposition from the GOP over its potential implications for future elections, including the 2022 midterms, with some Republicans openly fretting that broader access to voting will harm the party’s chances.

For Republicans, H.R. 1 represents a Democratic “power grab” that could tilt elections in their favor for years to come, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., put it. One Arizona state lawmaker called it “anti-Republican.”

“H.R. 1 is an attempt to use the Democrats’ slim majority to unlevel the playing field and take away the rights of roughly half of the voters in the country,” said Mark Weaver, a GOP consultant based in Ohio and an election law attorney.

Other Republicans condemn the bill as a naked federal overreach of states’ rights, saying the legislation will usurp the decentralized electoral system in favor of a nationalized, one-size-fits-all approach.

And some Republican lawmakers, officials and strategists go even further, signaling the GOP’s opposition to such extensive electoral reforms is based on the fear it will cause them to lose elections.


“If the Democrats pass H.R. 1, it’s going to be absolutely devastating for Republicans in this country,” said Jay Williams, a Republican strategist in Georgia, a state seeing one of the most aggressive campaigns to restrict voting. “They’re just going to basically just shaft so many Republicans in places where they would actually have opportunities to pick up.”

In Arizona, another battleground seeing an onslaught of election-related legislative battles, state Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican, told CNN, “Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting.”

The measure comes as many Republican state lawmakers, some of whom peddled Trump’s baseless allegations of widespread fraud, are now leaning into what they cast as a lack of confidence in the democratic process to justify their election-related offensive. Republican state lawmakers across 43 states have advanced at least 250 bills so far aimed at limiting absentee and early voting and implementing stricter voter ID laws, among other provisions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

The debate over H.R. 1 reflects the broader reckoning within the GOP over how to win elections in the post-Trump era, when the most significant motivator for both sides is no longer on the ballot. With both history and conventional wisdom pointing to an advantage for the out-of-power party in midterms, some Republicans are convinced H.R. 1 could make a difference.

“I think stopping [H.R. 1] is more relative to Republican success in the future than Donald Trump,” Williams said, as the former president remains the most influential Republican in the party. “The ramifications of passing legislation like that would be very difficult for Republicans to win a majority status after that.”

But Republican fears don’t necessarily permeate in states where — even with more people voting — they found success in 2020, such as North Carolina, Ohio and Kentucky.

“I think it’s a mistake for Republicans to believe that under any particular voting model they can’t win elections. I think that’s wrong and absurd, but it’s the same error the Democrats are making trying to push H.R. 1,” said Michael Adams, Kentucky’s Republican secretary of state, before adding that in the last election, high turnout resulted in more registered Republicans participating than Democrats for the first time in the state’s history.

Democrats, for their part, point to the wholesale Republican push to curb voting rights as the impetus for more urgently pressing ahead on H.R. 1, which could serve as a backstop to thwart the state-level clamp down on voting.

President Joe Biden made clear in a statement that the bill’s reforms were “urgently needed,” adding that he looks “forward to signing it into law after it has passed through the legislative process.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., underlined the string of attacks from Republicans on the electoral system in his defense of the Senate’s companion bill.

“If one political party believes ‘heads we win, tails you cheated,’ if one political party believes that when you lose an election, the answer isn’t to win more votes, but rather to try to prevent the other side from voting, then we have serious and existential threats to our democracy on our hands,” Schumer said Wednesday. “That’s why we need S.1. so badly.”

The proposal faces a tricky path forward to overcome the 60-vote threshold in the evenly divided Senate unless Democrats reform the filibuster.

Biden said in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday that he isn’t opposed to looking at a return to the “talking filibuster,” which would require opposing senators to ceaselessly speak on the Senate floor until the bill is dropped or proponents have the votes.

Schumer made clear during a press conference Wednesday that Democrats will “decide the appropriate action to take” on the bill since “failure is not an option.”

4 thoughts on “GOP warns HR 1 could be ‘absolutely devastating for Republicans’

  • Scottie, the problem with voting in America has always been too few people voting. It should be noted with the seditious former president’s inability to prove wide-spread voter fraud losing over 60 court cases, winning only one, voter fraud is not very wide-spread. To me, if a party has to cheat to win as Republicans have done with “precision” since 2010 ( a judge’s term), they should be mindful that others are watching. Have Dems cheated? Yes, but to this independent and former Republican voter, with Voter ID laws, gerrymandering, etc. the Republicans have made a greater effort to cheat. Just watching the former president plan and stage his voter fraud accusations for months before the election is telling in its own right. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Keith. I understand your point. However it wont matter if people see what is happening if their vote no longer matters. Think of AZ, where the state legislature can simply change the winner of presidential elections if they don’t like it. How is that a democracy. That is China level stuff. If a large portion of the population are not allowed to vote or have their vote count, it is a dictatorship not a democracy.

      That one party has not only gotten away with pushing more and more people off the voting rolls with out being stopped, even justifying it with a large portion of the voters, is racism. If the criteria to vote is skin color to create or maintain a whites only power structure in the country, it a crime. But in the US right now it is a legal crime. How to stop the Republicans right now? How to fix this before those laws go into place to keep any chance to fix it from happening? This is far more serious than people understand. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  • The GOP cannot win without cheating. Not because I said so, but because they said so. They have spent decades simply finding ways to stay in power as a minority.

    Why are they a minority? Because they have chosen not to govern, to see to the needs of their constituents. They have played to the demands of the financial sources for their campaigns. There is no nadir in their willingness to lie, steal, and cheat. When we think they can’t go any lower, then, following an insurrection meant to end democracy, they vote in support of the insurrectionists.

    The GOP, think McConnell, is terrified of HR 1 because they know it will put a kink in their tail for a long time. The GOP is the only political party to be sanctioned for its illegal operations. Court supervision was necessary to ensure the state GOP committees did not put in place any voter restrictions, as they are doing now. That sanction was lifted in 2018, and we can see that they are now desperate to prevent open and fair elections.

    If they would function as representatives of the people who put them in office they may find themselves not needing such extreme efforts to limit the number of people voting. They could possibly be elected on their merits. It could happen!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Cagjr. Well said, very well said. I look at the law the AZ Republicans passed letting the legislature simple change the vote of the people to select who ever the party in power wants to win. They know Democrats wont ever do that, but we also know Republicans would. How is that a democracy? How is that not like China / Russia where they pick the winner, or China / Russia where they pick who the people can even vote between, who can run. How low the US democracy has sunk that Republicans use to go to war to spread around the world. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

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