Hoyer Floor Statement on GOP Efforts to Terminate the Election Assistance Commission

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Transcript: 

i thank the gentleman for yielding. first of all, we ought to be talking about jobs. the contention that this bill funds bills that are about jobs is spurious in my opinion and no economist, in my opinion, will assert that that is a fact. we ought to be dealing with jobs.

but what are we dealing with? i know of what i speak. i tell the gentleman from georgia, i understand, as a member of the house administration committee for, i think, 15 years, i, along with bob ney, was sponsor of the help america vote act which created the election assistance commission. i know something about the election assistance commission. it was created by -- because in the year 2000 we had a disastrous election which was resolved, finally, but not very acceptably by most people. whether your candidate won or lost. so the assistance commission was created for the purposes, for the first time in history, of having some federal presence in the oversight of federal elections. not mandatory, but advisory.

now what we see, frankly, throughout america, in republican-controlled legislatures in many, many states, is an effort to make voting more difficult. to, in my opinion, suppress the vote. to require more and more documentation of people who have already registered to vote. and claiming problems that exist that do not exist. now if you want to up the -- to obfuscate the election process, if you want to suppress the vote, if you want to make it more difficult what is one of the things you want to eliminate the election assistance commission. whose responsibility it is to advise and counsel on best practices to assure that every american not only has the right to vote but is facilitated in casting that vote and making sure that that vote is counted. that's what the election assistance commission does.

what do they want to do with the elections assistance commission responsibility? transfer it to the federal lech commission. whose sole responsibility is to oversee the flow of money into elections. they neither have the expertise nor, frankly, do of this the time. they hardly have the time to do what they're supposed to do right now. now frankly, the bush administration did not fund the election assistance commission very robustly. and like every agency, it requires an should have proper oversight and should in my view be more vigorous in the carrying out of its responsibilities. that is not, however, a reason for eliminating it. the only reason for eliminating it is to make voting more obscure, less oversight, and less assurance to our citizens that they not only have the right to vote but that a vote will be cast.