Democrats on the Committee on House Administration have unanimously denounced a Republican recommendation to reduce spending within the legislative branch. This week lawmakers proposed cost-saving initiatives to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. In a letter Thursday to the joint committee co-chairmen, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), House Republicans recommended eliminating funding for the Election Assistance Commission.
House Administration Committee Republicans have long advocated the dissolution of the EAC, an independent, bipartisan commission formed by the Help America Vote Act in 2002, saying the commission’s primary purpose had already been achieved. In June, the House rejected a bill to end the commission, which Republicans said would save $33 million over five years.
“The Election Assistance Commission has fulfilled its function and is now a perfect example of unnecessary and wasteful spending,” committee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) wrote in Thursday’s letter. Committee Democrats responded swiftly to the recommendation, claiming that terminating the EAC would instead lead to problems.
“Such a move would actually increase the cost of elections, shift expenses to already burdened state and local budgets, and diminish the quality and transparency of elections nationwide,” according to a statement released Friday.
“This continues a Republican effort to return the EAC’s voting machine certification responsibilities to the Federal Election Commission, the same agency whose failure to properly handle the process led to the nightmare recount in Florida in 2000 and creation of EAC under the Help America Vote Act,” the statement continued.