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House GOP Marks Up Bill Peddling False Conspiracies, Feeding Attacks on American Democracy

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Washington, DC Today, House Republicans are set to mark up legislation that is nothing more than a fig leaf to provide further legitimacy to election denial conspiracies. The bill relies on the widely and repeatedly debunked bigoted conspiracies about non-citizen voting and is pushed by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and former President Trump.  

Instead of an attempt at serious public policy, Republicans’ reliance on the lie of non-citizens voting and other anti-immigrant conspiracies are part of a larger strategy that lays the groundwork for stoking fear among the MAGA base, opening the door to voting restrictions for eligible voters, delegitimizing the democratic process, and amplifying the white nationalist ”replacement theory.” All of it fuels the possibility of real-world political violence and threats to American democracy (see more from America’s Voice here).

Luke Broadwater makes similar points in his New York Times story this week, “House G.O.P. Moves to Crack Down on Noncitizen Voting, Sowing False Narrative,” noting:

“Republicans are pushing legislation to crack down on voting by noncitizens, which happens rarely and is already illegal in federal elections, in a move that reinforces former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the 2024 results if he loses.

The legislation has virtually no chance of becoming law, but it serves to amplify one of Mr. Trump’s favorite pre-emptive claims of election fraud. It also underscores Republicans’ embrace of a groundless narrative — one that echoes the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory — that Democrats are intentionally allowing migrants to stream into the United States illegally in order to dilute the voting power of American citizens and lock in electoral victories for themselves.

…David Becker, the director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, said that cases of noncitizens voting in federal elections were very rare and that he suspected that Republicans had ulterior motives … ‘This is largely being done, along with other lines of disinformation, to prep the United States for the argument that an election was stolen by people who apparently believe the candidate they support is likely to lose.’”

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Let’s be crystal clear about the GOP’s strategy. The perpetuation of non-citizen voting conspiracies is part of a persistent drumbeat that seeks to use immigrants as the vehicle to popularize the distrust in American democracy. Under the guise of protecting our elections, Republicans are using their power in Congress to provide legitimacy to the sort of bigoted and anti-democratic conspiracies that led to the deadly violence of Jan. 6. It is the same conspiracy theory driven thinking that drove incidents of tragic violence in Charlottesville, Buffalo, El Paso, and Pittsburgh. Republicans do not have evidence for what they are claiming. But facts are not what they are after; it’s power, and they are using nativist conspiracies to achieve it.”           

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