Senate Republicans are demanding President Joe Biden hand over documents related to his March 2021 executive order directing federal agencies to interfere in state and local elections.
On Wednesday, 13 Senate Republicans sent a letter to Biden requesting his administration forfeit documents related to Executive Order 14019, which required hundreds of federal agencies to interfere in the electoral process by using taxpayer money to boost voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities. As The Federalist previously reported, voter registration efforts are almost always a partisan venture and often involve left-wing groups that abuse their nonprofit status to target likely-Democrat voters.
“First, while we all agree that increased voter participation is a good thing, the job of federal agencies is to perform their defined missions in a nonpartisan way, not use their taxpayer funds for clandestine voter mobilization and election-turnout operations,” the senators wrote. “Second, it seems doubtful that Congress approved all federal agencies to use appropriated funds for the purpose of voter mobilization.”
Under Executive Order 14019, the heads of each agency were required to draft “a strategic plan” explaining how his or her department intends to fulfill Biden’s directive. Despite attempts by good government groups to acquire these plans, the Biden administration has routinely stonewalled such efforts by slow-walking its response to federal court orders and heavily redacting any related documents it has released.
In their letter, Senate Republicans are demanding the White House provide them with copies of these strategic plans, as well as a “full accounting of all federal funding used to-date” to comply with the order, by May 23.
“Therefore, reviewing the agency plans is critical to understanding the degree to which implementation of this order has resulted in improper uses of federal resources,” the senators wrote.
Signatories of the letter include Republican Sens. Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Rick Scott of Florida, Mike Braun of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Katie Britt of Alabama.
Most recently, Budd, along with New York GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney, introduced the Promoting Free and Fair Elections Act, which, in addition to requiring federal agencies to disclose their strategic plans to Congress, would prohibit federal agencies from using federal funds to “solicit or enter into an agreement with a nongovernmental organization to conduct voter registration or voter mobilization activities.”
The bill would furthermore amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to bar public universities from using taxpayer-funded Federal Work Study programs to pay college students to engage in voter registration campaigns. In April 2022, the Biden administration told colleges they could use work-study funds to partake in such activities. Having taxpayers fund get-out-the-vote efforts in this way had previously not been allowed.
Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood
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