Members of the House on Wednesday rejected a bill to end the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which Republicans said would save $33 million over five years by eliminating a commission who’s primary purpose has been achieved.
Members voted 235-187 in favor of the bill, which was not enough to ensure passage under a suspension of House rules. Suspension votes require the support of two-thirds of all voting members. Every voting Republican supported it, and every voting Democrat opposed it.
The House debated the bill, H.R. 672, Tuesday night. Republicans said the vote would test the willingness of Democrats to support cuts to federal spending, while Democrats argued that the EAC still serves a useful purpose in helping states establish voting standards and test voting equipment.
Republicans had proposed moving those functions the EAC still performs to the Federal Election Commission, but said the EAC has mostly served its primary purpose in distributing grants to states to upgrade voting machines.
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) said the decision by Democrats to oppose the bill is an “insult” to struggling taxpayers.
“Instead of cutting wasteful spending here in Washington, House Democrats have voted to sustain an obsolete agency that pays its employees an average of over $100,000 a year yet serves no purpose,” he said. “This is exactly what’s wrong with Washington and exactly what we need to fix.”