WASHINGTON - Chairman Bryan Steil (WI-01) delivered remarks today at the House Rules Committee hearing on the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act.

Chairman Steil's full opening statement as prepared for delivery: 

Chairman Burgess, Ranking Member McGovern, members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify in support of H.R. 8281, the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act – known as the SAVE Act.  


I would like to thank my colleague, Congressman Chip Roy, for his sponsorship of this bill and his collaboration in working to get this legislation to final form.  


I would also like to thank Speaker Johnson, his team, and our Committee staff for all the time and resources dedicated to bringing this bill to life. 


As Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, I have been diligently focused on elections. Our committee has introduced over 50 pieces of legislation and marked up 15 elections bills.  


We have held 12 hearings, heard from 60 witnesses, and even held a field hearing in Georgia to hear from Americans directly on what is going right and what their concerns are for our election system. 


We’ve raised awareness on private election funding commonly known as “Zuckerbucks” and its potential to influence our election administration. 


We have passed legislation to close a loophole that allows foreign nationals to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence American elections. 


As a House, we’ve passed legislation to prevent non-citizens from voting in Washington, D.C.’s local elections. 


This bill, the SAVE Act, is one of many that we hope to bring to the floor. 


In the past few decades, Americans’ faith in the integrity of our elections has eroded, and it is Congress’s responsibility to help restore confidence in our election system. 


The SAVE Act would do just that. 


Through the SAVE Act, we will strengthen our election administration and keep American elections for American citizens. 


In recent years, we have seen a growing number of jurisdictions across the country allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections, including right here in our nation’s capital. 


In Washington, D.C., a non-citizen only has to reside in the district for 30 days in order to vote.  


Imagine if that policy was applied across the country.  


The SAVE Act contains critical reforms to existing legislation and strengthens current law by requiring documentary proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote in federal elections. 


The National Voter Registration Act currently requires States to give voter registration forms to everyone who receives a driver’s license, regardless of citizenship.  


For example, in Illinois, like in many states, noncitizens can obtain a driver’s license. Under the NVRA, these noncitizens would be given voter registration forms. And just a few years ago, Illinois had to remove hundreds of noncitizens from its voter rolls. 


All an applicant has to do is check a box saying they are a citizen, and the citizenship verification process is over. Following the 2013 Supreme Court case, Arizona v. Inter Tribal, the NVRA prevents States from asking applicants for confirmation of citizenship. 


The SAVE Act would require States to obtain documentary proof of U.S. citizenship and identity in-person when registering an individual to vote in a federal election. 


This change to the NVRA would direct States to establish a process for applicants who do not have documentary proof of citizenship, but are in fact U.S. citizens, under a process developed by the Election Assistance Commission. 


The SAVE Act would require States to set up a program to remove non-citizens from their voter rolls. 


In order to assist with this process, the bill would give States immediate and free access to federal and State databases with citizenship information. 


In a recent Committee hearing, we heard evidence of non-citizens appearing on voter rolls in States across the country, and it is critical that we provide the resources States need to remove non-citizens from their voter rolls. 


By allowing this access, States can streamline registration processes and ensure that non-citizens are not registering to vote.  


Lastly, the SAVE Act will direct the Election Assistance Commission to update any guidance associated with the bill. 


The SAVE Act will also ensure that States with same-day registration can comply with the bill. 


American elections are for American citizens, and it is our duty to make sure it stays that way. 


Through our work on the Committee on House Administration, Republicans have worked tirelessly to protect American elections. 


President Biden issued an Executive Order directing federal agencies to use taxpayer money to register people to vote.  


By passing the SAVE Act, we can make sure that only eligible American citizens are registering to vote.  


As we approach the 2024 general election, election integrity is more important now than ever. 


We must ensure Americans have confidence in our election system, and that their vote will count according to the law. 


We must get the SAVE Act to the floor of the House of Representatives and vote to protect our elections. 


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.