(Daily Kos) – Cancun Cruz has been caught on tape saying there should be no compromise on implementing harsher voting restrictions, warning that the GOP’s future is at stake if the Democratic-backed H.R. 1 legislation becomes law.
It shows the stakes in the battle within in the Senate over passing H.R. 1. Democrats must themselves make an all-out effort to pass the Senate version of H.R.1 because the severe voting restrictions under consideration across the country could suppress the Democratic vote and ensure that an increasingly authoritarian GOP gets a firm grip on power for years to come.
The Associated Press obtained a recording of Cruz’s comments from a participant in an invitation-only call with state lawmakers organized by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate-backed conservative lobbying group that produces model legislation for to Republican state legislators.
“H.R. 1′s only objective is to ensure that Democrats can never again lose another election, that they will win and maintain control of the House of Representatives and the Senate and of the state legislatures for the next century,” Cruz said.
Asked if there was room to compromise, Cruz was blunt: “No.”
Cruz previewed the lines of attack that Republicans are likely to push in the coming weeks by branding H.R. 1 as the “Corrupt Politicians Act.” He claimed the bill would lead to voting by millions of “criminals and illegal aliens.”
H.R. 1 “says America would be better off if more murderers were voting, America would be better off if more rapists and child molesters were voting,” Cruz said.
It reflects the intensity of Republican support for voting restrictions which they consider an existential matter for their party.
The AP reported that several prominent right-wing groups have recently entered the fray.
Anti-abortion rights group, the Susan B. Anthony List, has partnered with another conservative Christian group to fund a new organization, the Election Transparency Initiative. FreedomWorks, which focuses on tax cuts and smaller government, has put up $10 million for a campaign run by Cleta Mitchell, a prominent Republican attorney who has been a Trump adviser.
The conservative advocacy group Heritage Action is running a $700,000 ad campaign to back the harsh voter restriction bills now under consideration in the Georgia state legislature.
The Brennan Center for Justice, which supports expanding voting rights, has reported that more than 250 bills have been introduced in 43 states that would change how Americans vote. The measures include limiting mail-in voting and cutting hours for early voting. This effort follows Trump’s lies about election fraud and efforts to overturn the election results in several key swing states.
H.R. 1 would require states to automatically register eligible voters, offer same-day registration, limit states’ ability to purge registered voters from their rolls, and restore voting rights to former felons. It would also mandate that states offer 15 days of early voting and allow no-excuse absentee voting.
Democrats say that since the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Republicans have introduced measures to suppress the votes of People of Color and young people by introducing such measures as voter identification requirements.
Now Democrats say the post-2020 measures introduced by GOP lawmakers amount to the greatest assault on voting rights since Jim Crow held sway over much of the South.
This is a call to arms for Democrats, and if it takes eliminating the filibuster specifically for voting rights legislation then Democratic senators must take such action.