Even as many conservatives express concerns about the election reform bill known as the For the People Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had words of effusive praise for her Democratic colleagues during a press conference this week.
Specifically, she struck a jubilant tone as she celebrated the decision to pass H.R. 1 along partisan lines.
“Big, dark special interest money”
According to Breitbart, Pelosi cited the input of the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who wrote “the first 300 pages” of the bill in an effort to “remove voter suppression tactics from our political system.”
As for the rest, the House speaker declared that it was intended “to protect the integrity of our electoral system, the physical infrastructure of our elections,” and other related concerns.
“What’s exciting about it is it restores confidence that people have that their vote and their voice is as important as anyone’s,” she said.
The longtime Democratic congresswoman heralded the fact that her party “can address the climate crisis if big, dark special interest money is not suffocating the airwaves with misinformation about how to protect the planet.”
Going on to applaud other provisions included in H.R. 1, Pelosi said that Democrats “can have background checks passed in the whole Congress of the United States to protect our children if big, dark special interest gun lobbying money is not suffocating the airwaves.”
“Sweeping and irrevocable damage”
Right-wing pundits and politicos, on the other hand, were not nearly as impressed. For his part, conservative writer Ben Shapiro dedicated much of his daily podcast on Friday to the argument that the bill would make free and fair elections all but impossible.
“H.R. 1 would seize the authority of states to regulate registration and the voting process, forcing states to implement early voting, automatic voter registration, same-day registration, online registration, and no-fault absentee ballots,” he claimed.
According to Shapiro, the act “would also make it pretty much mandatory that elections would go on for weeks at a time” as officials count absentee ballots, thus promoting further distrust in the electoral process.
The For the People Act, Shapiro concluded, “would make it easier to commit fraud and chaos at the polls through same-day registration — literally you would walk up and you would cast a provisional ballot, and you would register at the exact same time.”
In a statement last month, dozens of prominent conservatives signed on to a statement opposing H.R. 1 “in the strongest terms” on the basis that it “would cause sweeping and irrevocable damage to the free speech, privacy, and integrity that are central components to free and fair elections in America.”