House Administration Committee

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Voting Blogs: Meet the new elections commissioners: US EAC has quorum for first time in several years |electionlineWeekly

Late in 2014, the U.S. Congress finally — and unanimously — approved the appointment of three new commissioners to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The commission had been without a quorum for four years with new appointments getting hung up on things the way most things on Capitol Hill get hung up — partisanship. And even with a quorum finally in place, some on Capitol Hill aren’t all that happy. Mississippi Rep. Gregg Harper has introduced legislation to eliminate the EAC. H.R. 195 calls for the termination of the commission and assigns remaining duties to the Office of Personnel Management and the Federal Elections Commission. The legislation has been referred to the House Administration Committee.

Full Article: electionlineWeekly.

National: Federal Vote-By-Mail Act Gets New Push from Rep. Susan Davis | Times of San Diego

Rep. Susan Davis has re-introduced two of her election reform bills to “restore integrity to federal elections and end constraints placed on voters who want to vote by mail, known as absentee,” her office said Thursday. Rep. Susan Davis, who represents California’s 53rd District. The Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act would end restrictions many states impose on a person’s ability to vote absentee, such as requiring a doctor’s note, the details of a religious obligation, latest pregnancy status or details of a vacation destination.

Full Article: Vote by Mail Susan Davis.

Editorials: A full commission should address FEC rules changes | The Washington Post

Dysfunction and conflict continue to roil the Federal Election Commission (FEC), where Republican commissioners hope to exploit their short-term majority and pass wrongheaded changes to the agency’s rules. This summer, Vice Chairman Donald F. McGhan and two other Republican commissioners proposed barring the FEC’s general counsel, when judging whether to pursue an enforcement matter, from consulting publicly available information without commission approval. This would prohibit the FEC staff from using Google, Facebook or a newspaper to look into a possible violation of campaign finance laws without prior approval. The proposal would also limit the FEC’s ability to share information with the Justice Department.

Full Article: A full commission should address FEC rules changes - The Washington Post.

National: GOP lawmaker chides FEC for two-year delay in creating enforcement manual | Washington Post

The House Administration committee’s top Republican last week scolded the Federal Election Commission for failing to approve an enforcement manual two years after lawmakers asked the panel to complete the task. “When a federal agency keeps its enforcement policies and procedures secret or makes them difficult to understand, it increases the opportunity for abuse by its employees — abuse that has very real consequences for the Americans subject to its power,” Committee Chairman Candice Miller (Mich.) said in a statement on Friday. In a letter to Miller on Thursday, FEC Chairman Ellen Weintraub raised concerns about dealing with enforcement guidelines while the Senate is considering two new nominees for the commission.

Full Article: GOP lawmaker chides FEC for two-year delay in creating enforcement manual.

National: House Republican Lawmakers See Elections Oversight Committees as Waste of Money | IVN

The community of federal campaign oversight will undergo significant downsizing following announcements from the Federal Election Commission and the House Administration Committee, Wednesday. Tony Herman, General Legal Counsel to the Federal Election Commission, will leave the agency this July and the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) moved one inch closer to being scrapped. In a statement, FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub said, “I want to thank Tony for his outstanding service to this agency and to the American public.” He will return to Covington & Burling, LLP where he was a partner before joining the FEC in 2011. The FEC has been understaffed since February when former commissioner, Cynthia Bauerly, left after serving nearly a 5-year term. Now with five out of six commissioners, each serving expired terms, the agency will need to locate a new General Counsel before July 7.

Full Article: House Lawmakers See Elections Oversight Committee as Waste of Money.

National: House Republicans put Election Assistance Commission in cross hairs | Washington Times

House Republicans are pressing to kill an independent government commission designed to improve state-level voting procedures, arguing the body has run its course, is ineffectual and is a waste of taxpayer money. The House Administration Committee will meet Tuesday to vote on amendments on a bill to repeal the Election Assistance Commission — created as part of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, or HAVA, that was designed to help modernize state-level voting systems in response to Florida’s ballot-counting troubles during the 2000 presidential election. But the commission has been in limbo since late 2010, when it last had a quorum. All four seats currently are vacant. Democrats, who support the agency, say that’s because Republicans have undermined its authority by holding up nominations and repeatedly trying to abolish it.

Full Article: House Republicans put voter assistant commission in cross hairs - Washington Times.

National: Rep. Hoyer launches voting rights application | The Hill

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) this week is unveiling his next step in the battle over voting rights in the form of a pop-up Web application that informs people where to vote and how to register. Hoyer and Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.), the ranking Democrat on the House Administration Committee, sent a letter to colleagues dated Monday to introduce the new application and encourage members to use it, specifically recommending sharing it through social media. The letter urges that it is the “responsibility” of elected leaders to help inform constituents about the democratic process. “In the last year, we have witnessed a nationwide assault on American citizens’ constitutionally-guaranteed right to vote,” they wrote. “Aside from the unnecessary, expensive, and ineffective new Voter ID laws, we have also seen targeted purges of eligible, registered voters from state rolls. Little has been done to educate the public about these actions. As a result, there are thousands of eligible voters at risk of being turned away from the polls while attempting to make choices about their federal representation.”

Full Article: Rep. Hoyer launches voting rights application - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room.

National: FEC releases election law documents after subpoena threat | Politico.com

Responding to the threat of a congressional subpoena, the Federal Election Commission this afternoon released reams of previously secret documents that detail how it enforces election law. It appears to end — for the moment — a months-long row between the House Administration Committee and election commissioners over how transparent the commission is and should be. The documents made public today include the commission’s enforcement and audit manuals and details of the procedures used by the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division.

Full Article: FEC releases election law documents after subpoena threat - Dave Levinthal - POLITICO.com.

National: FEC releases election law documents after subpoena threat | Politico.com

Responding to the threat of a congressional subpoena, the Federal Election Commission this afternoon released reams of previously secret documents that detail how it enforces election law. It appears to end — for the moment — a months-long row between the House Administration Committee and election commissioners over how transparent the commission is and should be. The documents made public today include the commission’s enforcement and audit manuals and details of the procedures used by the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division.

Full Article: FEC releases election law documents after subpoena threat - Dave Levinthal - POLITICO.com.