|Text of Davis' opening statement: |
Thank you, Chairperson Lofgren.
Before I address the topic of today's hearing. I want to point out that today's hearing was scheduled at the same time as a mark up at the Financial Services Committee, which both Rep. Loudermilk and Rep. Steil are members of. This is not the first time this has occurred; my staff has reminded the majority staff on numerous occasions that with 2/3 of House Admin GOP members on Financial Services it makes participation in these hearings difficult when scheduled at the same time. Given that the Financial Services committee announces their schedule a month in advanced, I'd ask that the chair be mindful of this when noticing House Admin hearings
This hearing on Election Subversion couldn't be more timely because there is a lot of election misinformation happening right now…
And it's coming from the other side of the aisle.
All last Congress and this Congress, I've sat through hearing after hearing listening to my friends on the other side try to tell us there's voter suppression happening in Republican states across this country.
Despite voter turnout breaking records in both the 2018 midterms and the 2020 general election across all races, my friends on the other side of the aisle continue to spread egregious misinformation about what is occurring today.
When Senator Joe Manchin announced he would vote against H.R. 1/S. 1 in an op-ed, one of our colleagues from New York said his op-ed should have been titled, "Why I'll vote to preserve Jim Crow."
Another member from New York on CNN called it a "voter suppression epidemic"
President Biden has called these laws "un-American," "sick," "Jim Crow in the 21st Century," and "the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War."
Additionally, the President received ‘Four Pinocchios" from the Washington Post for false claims about Georgia's laws.
Vice President Kamala Harris recently suggested that voter integrity laws are concerning because people in rural areas do not have a Kinkos nearby…
I'm from a rural part of the country and I'm here to tell you that we are perfectly capable, and willing, to follow the rules to protect the integrity of our vote.
Democrat legislators from Texas recently fled their state to Washington, DC to "fight voter suppression", but when they were pressed about how these laws would actually suppress votes, they couldn't explain.
That's because when you take the time to read the legislation and analyze these state laws, you'll find that the many states Democrats are trying to claim voter suppression in actually have less restrictive voting laws than many Democrat-controlled states – New York, Delaware, etc.
The states that are passing these laws are doing so in part to clean up temporary, pandemic rules that were made during COVID but are not needed outside of a pandemic. Rules like 24-hour drive-thru voting and others.
The Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of states having the power to implement voting laws to protect the integrity of their elections—making it easy to vote, but hard to cheat.
In the case against the Arizona, Justice Alito's opinion stated, "One strong and entirely legitimate state interest is the prevention of fraud. Fraud can affect the outcome of a close election, and fraudulent votes dilute the right of citizens to cast ballots that carry appropriate weight. Fraud can also undermine public confidence in the fairness of elections and the perceived legitimacy of the announced outcome."
Justice Alito also noted in a recent ruling that merely implementing reasonable voting regulations, such as rules to increase ballot integrity, does not equal discrimination, which is what my Democrat colleagues continue to misconstrue.
Unfortunately, this election subversion is all part of Democrats' continued push to nationalize our elections.
Creating the false narrative that states are passing racist laws to incorrectly justify the need for H.R. 1/S. 1 and H.R. 4.
This narrative is not only false, but it's offensive. Our country has come a long way since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and I think that's important to recognize and remember the history behind the need for that legislation and celebrate the progress we've made, all while recognizing the on-going importance of Section 2 to ensure we never return to 1965.
And there's no one better to talk about the horrendous voter suppression laws that occurred during the Jim Crow era compared to where we are now than our colleague Congressman Burgess Owens.
I'm honored to have Burgess with us today and it's not just because he helped my team, the Oakland Raiders, win a Superbowl in 1980…
Burgess grew up in the Jim Crow South in the 1960s and during his testimony before the Senate hearing on S. 1, he said, "Jim Crow laws like poll taxes, property tests, literacy tests, and violence and intimidation at the polls, made it nearly impossible for Black Americans to vote." He went on to say, "It is disgusting and offensive to compare the actual voter suppression and violence of the era that we grew up in with a state law that ONLY asks people to show their ID."
I look forward to hearing from Burgess and the other witnesses today.