Conservatives Oppose H.R. 1, a Partisan Attack on the First Amendment

January 31, 2019

Conservatives are united in opposing H.R. 1, the attempt by House Democrats to fundamentally undermine the American electoral system.


While they cloak the bill in terms of “restoring democracy” and “preventing corruption,” the legislation has one goal: to protect incumbents at the expense of the First Amendment, federalism, and individual voter integrity.


H.R. 1 undermines the First Amendment. H.R. 1 undermines key Supreme Court cases that protect elections as fundamental to free speech. It would allow the Federal Election Commission to track and catalogue more of what Americans are saying, register even very small political donations, and make public those who donate to different charitable and nonprofit organizations. The legislation will subject private citizens to intimidation and harassment for their private and political beliefs, far broader than what was done in the IRS targeting scandal in 2013.


H.R. 1 yanks election authority away from the states. H.R. 1 reasserts the ability of the federal government to micromanage state elections through a process known as “preclearance.” Preclearance, which was previously overturned by the Supreme Court, requires states to get permission from the federal government for changes as small as modifying the hours of an election office, or moving a voting location from a school gym to the library. Critically, none of these practices would undo any fraud or corruption. Rather, these same practices result in incorrect registrations and inaccurate voter data, while failing to address actual corrupt practices like ballot harvesting. Moreover, they are all designed to eliminate the federalism that keeps elections transparent, local, and fair.


H.R. 1 attacks individual voter integrity. America was founded on the principle of “one person, one vote.” H.R. 1 turns this on its head by weaponizing every aspect of the political regulatory system. The Federal Election Commission, which is currently a neutral body, would be given a 3-2 makeup, guaranteeing a partisan outcome with little accountability toward the actual votes which are cast. H.R. 1 also includes a 600 percent government match for political donations, and authorizes even more public dollars to campaigns. The bill also wants to make Election Day a new paid holiday for government workers, with additional paid vacation given to bureaucrats to oversee the polls. All of these changes are designed to distance the outcome of the election from those casting their votes.


H.R. 1 would also implement the following changes:


 Forces states to implement mandatory voter registration, removing civic participation as a voluntary choice, and increasing chances for error.


Mandates that states allow all felons to vote.


Forces states to extend periods of early voting, which has shown to have no effect on turnout.


Mandates same-day voter registration, which encourages voter fraud.


Limits the ability of states to cooperate to see who is registered in multiple states at the same time.


Prohibits election observers from cooperating with election officials to file formal challenges to suspicious voter registrations.


Criminalizes protected political speech by making it a crime to “discourage” someone from voting


Bars states from making their own laws about voting by mail.


Prohibits chief election officials in each state from participating in federal election campaigns.


Mandates free mailing of absentee ballots.


Mandates that states adopt new redistricting commissions. 


H.R. 1 would cause sweeping and irrevocable damage to the free speech, privacy, and integrity that are central components to free and fair elections in America. We oppose H.R. 1 in the strongest terms, and urge all conservatives to do likewise.


The Honorable Edwin Meese III

Attorney General

President Ronald Reagan (1985-1988)


Adam Brandon




The Honorable Colin A. Hanna


Let Freedom Ring, Inc.


Noah Wall

Vice President of Advocacy



Jessica Anderson

Vice President

Heritage Action for America


David Bozell




Lisa B. Nelson

Chief Executive Officer

American Legislative Exchange Council


The Honorable David McIntosh


Club for Growth


Daniel Schneider

Executive Director

American Conservative Union (ACU)


The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop

White House Advisor

President Ronald Reagan (1981-1985)


The Honorable Jim DeMint

Member, South Carolina

United States Senate (2005-2013)


Ed Corrigan

Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project and

Executive Director, Senate Steering Committee (2003-2012)


Thomas Fitton


Judicial Watch, Inc.


The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell


Constitutional Congress, Inc.


The Honorable Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II


Senate Conservatives Fund


The Honorable Hans A. von Spakovsky


Federal Election Commission (2006-2007)


The Honorable Tom DeLay

Former Majority Leader

US House of Representatives


Grover Norquist


Americans for Tax Reform


Floyd Brown


America Fighting Back PAC


The Honorable Donald Hodel

Secretary of Energy, President Reagan

Secretary of Interior, President Reagan


Rod D. Martin

Founder and CEO

The Martin Organization, Inc.


Haley E. Martin


The Martin Foundation


Shawn A. Mitchell

Former National Chaplain, National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA)


Ellen F. Grigsby

Director of Institutional Partnerships

Open Doors USA


Melissa Ortiz

Founder and Principal

Able Americans


Kathleen Patten

President and CEO

American Target Advertising


Allen Hebert


American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston


Trent England

Executive Vice President

Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs


The Honorable George K. Rasley, Jr.

Managing Editor


Ed Martin


Phyllis Schlafly Eagles


Roxanne Phillips

Member, Executive Committee

Council for National Policy


Seton Motley


Less Government


Jack Park

Conservative Donor and Activist


Ron Robinson


Young America’s Foundation


Mark Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.


John F. Tate


America's Liberty PAC


C. Preston Noell III


Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.


Bob Carlstrom


The Carlstrom Group, LLC


Gary Marx


Madison Strategies


Bailey Amaral


The Windrose Project


The Honorable Michael R. Long

State Chairman

NYS Conservative Party


Amapola Hansberger


Legal Immigrants for America


Richard Manning


Americans for Limited Government


Kayla Moore


Foundation for Moral Law


Chad Connelly

President and Founder

Faith Wins


Robert K. Fischer

Meeting Coordinator

Conservatives of Faith


The Honorable Mike Spence

Founding President

Conservative Republicans of California


The Honorable Mike Hill


Florida State House, D1


Thomas Pyle


American Energy Alliance


Robert D. Thompson

Former Administrator

The Weyrich Lunch (1999-2016)


Tim Macy


Gun Owners of America


Brett Healy

President, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy


Jon Pritchett


Mississippi Center for Public Policy


Heather Lauer

Policy Director

People United for Privacy


Dr. Kevin Roberts

Executive Director

Texas Public Policy Foundation


Becky Gerritson

Executive Director

Eagle Forum of Alabama


L. Jean Lewis


Rabbi Aryeh Spero

Caucus For America


Tom McCabe


Freedom Foundation


Norman Singleton


Campaign for Liberty


Mike Stenhouse


RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity


Annette Thompson Meeks


Freedom Foundation of Minnesota


Ron Pearson

Executive Director

Conservative Victory Fund


Khadine L. Ritter


Eagle Forum of Ohio


Richard D. Hayes


Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP


Alan P. Dye

Senior Partner

Webster, Chamberlain & Bean


The Honorable Diana Denman

Presidential Appointee

President Reagan Administration


Kevin Freeman


NSIC Institute


Joseph A. Morris

Attorney and Partner

Morris & De La Rosa


Rebecca Hagelin


Council for National Policy


Lee A. Beaman


Beaman Automotive Group


Peter Thomas


The Conservative Caucus


Curt Levey


Committee for Justice


Michelle Easton

President, Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women


Susan A. Carleson


American Civil RIghtt Union


Paavo Ensio


Minerals Group


The Honorable Terrence Scanlon

Retired Chairman and President

Capital Research Center


Alfred S. Regnery

Chairman, Conservative Action Project

Chairman, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund


Marjorie Dannenfelser


Susan B. Anthony List


Diana Banister

President and Partner

Shirley & Banister Public Affairs


Cleta Mitchell, Esq.


Foley & Lardner LLP


Myron Ebell

Director, Center for Energy and Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute


Tom McClusky


March for Life Action


The Honorable Bob McEwen

U.S. House of Representatives

Former Member, Ohio


Matt Schlapp


American Conservative Union (ACU)


Jenny Beth Martin


Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund


William L. Walton


CNP Action, Inc.


Rachel Bovard

Policy Director

Senate Steering Committee (2014-2015)


The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.

Chief Domestic Advisor

President Ronald Reagan (1987-1988)


The Honorable Tony Perkins

President, Family Research Council

President, Council for National Policy


Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin (Ret.)

Executive Vice President

Family Research Council


L. Brent Bozell, III

Founder and President

Media Research Center


The Honorable Charles J. Cooper

Assistant Attorney General, President Ronald Reagan

Cooper & Kirk PLLC


J. Christian Adams


Public Interest Legal Foundation


The Honorable Gary L. Bauer


American Values


Tracie Sharp

President & CEO

State Policy Network


The Honorable James C. Miller III

Budget Director, President Ronald Reagan, (1985-1988)


Sherri R. Martin

Executive Vice President

The Martin Organization, Inc.


Nicholas Stehle

Campaign for the American Future


Jerry Melvin

Former Dean

Florida House of Representatives


Ralph Benko, Esq.

Senior Advisor, Economics

American Principles Project


Phil Kerpen


American Commitment


Jenna Ellis

Director of Public Policy

James Dobson Family Institute


Sal Russo

Co-Founder and Chief Strategist

Tea Party Express


Steve Berger


Grace Chapel


Rebekah Gantner

Executive Director, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund


Christopher Malagisi


Conservative Book Club Podcast


Richard H. Wright


AAndrews Consulting


Stuart Epperson, Sr.


Salem Media Group


Dr. Frank Wright

President & CEO

D. James Kennedy Ministries


Kelly Kullberg


America Conservancy


The Honorable Jake Hoffman

President & CEO

Rally Forge


Charlie Copeland


Intercollegiate Studies Institute


James L. Martin


60 Plus Association


Saul Anuzis


60 Plus Association


Lew Uhler


National Tax Limitation Committee


The Honorable Penny Pullen

Former State Legislator

Illinois General Assembly


Jay Mount


MDS Communications Corporation


The Honorable Belden Bell

Co-Chair Legacy Society

The Heritage Society


The Honorable Roy S. Moore

President Emeritus

Foundation for Moral Law


Matthew Tyrmand


Matthew Tyrmand, LLC


Dr. Richard Rounsavelle


Media Research Center


Randy M. Long


Long Business Advisors, LLC


Benjamin R. Case

Chief Executive Officer

Focused On Fundraising, Inc.


Carolee Adams


Eagle Forum of New Jersey


Elaine Donnelly


Center for Military Readiness


Dan Weber

Founder and President, Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)


Dr. Jameson Taylor

Vice President for Policy

Mississippi Center for Public Policy


Donald Bryson

President and CEO

Civitas Institute


Emily Davenport

Vice President

Pelican Institute for Public Policy


Paul Gessing


Rio Grande Foundation


Victor Riches

President & CEO

Goldwater Institute


Stella Morabito



Barbara Ledeen


Brigitte Gabriel

Founder & Chairman

ACT For America


Willes K. Lee

President, National Federation of Republican Assemblies


Wayne Hoffman


Idaho Freedom Foundation


Rob Chambers

Vice President

AFA Action


Joseph G. Lehman


Mackinac Center for Public Policy


David Williams


Taxpayers Protection Alliance


William Shaker


Washington Marketing Group


Mario Navarro da Costa

Director, Washington Bureau

Tradition, Family, Property


Sean Noble


American Encore


Debbie Georgatos


CWT Publications, LLC


Andresen Blom


Hawaiian Values


Charlie Gerow

Vice Chairman

American Conservative Union


James Clymer

Vice President, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund


William W. Pascoe, III

Board Member

Tea Party Patriots Action


Melvin Adams

Past President



Judson Phillips


Tea Party Nation


Col. Francis X. De Luca USMC(Ret)

President Emeritus

Civitas Institute


Mario H. Lopez


Hispanic Leadership Fund


Ambassador Henry F. Cooper

President Reagan's Chief Defense and Space Negotiator & Former SDI Director


Brent Mead


Montana Policy Institute


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