Latest News 27-06-2024 21:01 12 Views

House leaders aim for vote on Trump-backed elections bill next month

House GOP leaders plan to take up a bill enhancing protections against noncitizens voting sometime in July, Fox News Digital has learned.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is circulating a memo within his House GOP conference, obtained by Fox News Digital, arguing the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act is necessary. After this Friday, Congress is on a weeklong recess for Independence Day, returning July 8.

Johnson unveiled the bill, originally pushed by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, alongside former President Trump in a high-profile press conference at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year.

The 22-page report argues there is 'irrefutable evidence' that noncitizens have voted illegally in U.S. elections, placing blame with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

'The NVRA does not require states to ask for proof of citizenship when registering an individual to vote in federal elections. Rather, the NVRA relies on individuals to merely attest they are a citizen and eligible to vote. In 44 states, if an individual completes and signs the universal NVRA form (Form), then the state is required by federal law to register that person to vote,' the memo reads.

Johnson's document also argues that the Biden administration's border policies have exacerbated the issue by making it possible for more people to illegally enter the U.S.

'The Biden Administration’s efforts to dismantle border security, and related policies, have enabled millions of aliens to enter the country, violate our immigration laws, and exploit a system to obtain [a Social Security number],' it reads.

It also points to reports that states like Massachussetts, Virginia and Ohio recently purged noncitizens from their voter rolls. 

According to the memo, Virginia removed nearly 1,500 people from its voter rolls since May 2023 due to 'non-citizen status.' Citing an Electoral Process Education Corp. report, the memo said 335 of those people have cast ballots in Virginia elections in the last four years. 

'Earlier this year, in Massachusetts, Boston Election Department officials disclosed to the Public Interest Legal Foundation that the city had removed 70 non-citizens from the city’s election rolls,' the document says.

Additionally, Ohio's Republican Secretary of State recently ordered over 130 people to be removed from the state's voter list, the memo says, adding, 'Ohio law imposes a very high bar before a county board of elections can remove someone from the rolls due to noncitizenship.'

Democratic critics of the SAVE Act have argued that it is unnecessary because it is already illegal for noncitizens to vote in federal elections. 

The timing of the vote happening next month would be significant, coming less than six months before Trump's White House rematch with President Biden.

Even if passed, however, it is highly unlikely to be taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Johnson said at Trump's Palm Beach, Florida, home in April, 'I'm going to announce to you today here standing alongside President Trump that we will do everything within our to ensure that we do have free and fair elections in this country.' 

'It's the basis of who we are as a nation, and we owe that to the American people. And so what we're going to do is introduce legislation to require that every single person who registers to vote in a federal election must prove that they're an American citizen,' the speaker said. 'Our bill will establish new safeguards, will put us on par, by the way, with virtually every other democracy around the world that also prohibits noncitizen voting. And this is a critical thing for us to do at a very critical time. Our bill also will require states to remove noncitizens from their existing voter rolls.'

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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