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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Rep. Cole: “Democrats want to undermine First Amendment”

March 8, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 1. Introduced by House Democrats as “For the People Act,” Cole opposed the legislation, calling it “For the Politicians Act” or the "Welfare for Politicians Act."

“In a misguided attempt to preserve and expand the power of their own party, House Democrats have thoughtlessly rushed through legislation to federalize elections and in the process undermine the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” said Cole. “It is a shameful Democratic power grab, which would essentially create a welfare program for politicians and candidates on the taxpayer dime. 

“Even more concerning, the Democrats’ H.R. 1 would disrupt and infringe upon the role states play in conducting their own elections. While some states are clearly more successful than others, it is alarming that Democrats want to force the 50 separate and unique states to operate under the same guidelines. There would be terrible consequences in Oklahoma if Democrats ever got their way with H.R. 1.

“In fact, I’ve already heard from Paul Ziriax, Secretary of Oklahoma’s State Election Board, describing in detail how the mandates proposed in H.R. 1 would negatively impact Oklahoma’s highly successful and widely recognized election system. The proposed mandates would increase the cost of elections for the entire state as well as every county in the state. By pushing this legislation, Democrats are demonstrating their desire to stuff their campaign coffers with cash while leaving every Oklahoma and U.S. taxpayer with the tab.”

Earlier this week, Cole made opposing remarks on the House floor during debate on the rule for H.R. 1. His closing remarks can be viewed here.