House committee subpoenas Biden Cabinet secretaries for documents on ‘partisan’ voter EO

The Committee on House Administration has subpoenaed 15 of President Joe Biden’s cabinet secretaries demanding serious answers.

What they’re seeking is info on one of the president’s executive orders and its implementation, according to Fox News.

The specific executive order in question, Promoting Access to Voting, was signed into law in March of 2021.

The EO states that “executive departments and agencies should partner with State, local, Tribal, and territorial election officials to protect and promote the exercise of the right to vote, eliminate discrimination and other barriers to voting, and expand access to voter registration and accurate election information.”

Republicans do not care for the EO and have accused it of being a federal “voter mobilization” effort with “potentially partisan impacts.”

“EO 14019 turns the six trillion dollar federal government, with its 600 separate agencies, into a GOTV machine for his campaign,” conservative influencer Charlie Kirk tweeted in April. “This is totally illegal and a multi-trillion dollar advantage for Joe Biden ahead of November.”

And that is precisely why Committee on House Administration Chair Bryan Steil has subpoenaed 15 cabinet secretaries to learn exactly how they intend to execute the EO.

“The Committee has concerns about the implementation of E.O. 14019, particularly regarding its compatibility with provisions of the National Voter Registration Act (NRA) of 1993,” he told various agency heads in a subpoena letter reviewed by Fox News.

“Congress delegates to federal agencies specific functions and missions, which by law they are required to follow. Congress’s delegation of authority to HUD does not include using funds and resources to provide Americans with voter registration materials.”

True.

“Moreover, E.O. 14019 requires every federal agency to submit a strategic plan outlining how the agency can promote voter registration and voter participation,” he continued.

“Over the last few months, some agencies have taken actions that were likely outlined in their strategic plans. Examples include the Department of Education’s new federal work-study requirements and the Small Business Administration’s entrance into a voter registration agreement with Michigan. Both of those actions and the actions of other agencies raise substantial questions and concerns, some of which may be answered by access to the strategic plans drafted by the agencies,” he added.

Steil also wrote that the committee is mulling introducing legislation to repeal the executive order.

“As the Committee continues to investigate this issue, the strategic plans and other documents requested will inform the Committee on what additional legislation, if any, needs to be considered to clarify that the NRA does not enable executive branch agencies to focus on voter registration,” he wrote.

The letter has reportedly been sent to the Department of Commerce, Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Justice Department, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Interior, Department of Labor, Office of Management and Budget, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Treasury Department, and the Department of Agriculture.

In a statement to Fox News, Steil himself described the EO as a “scheme” to carry out “partisan activities” that haven’t been funded by Congress.

“Elections are partisan, but our election administration should never be partisan. Allowing federal employees from the Biden administration to flood election administration sites threatens election integrity and reduces Americans’ confidence,” he said.

“This executive order is another attempt by the Biden administration to tilt the scales ahead of 2024. I will continue working to provide transparency and accountability on this administration’s latest scheme as Congress did not appropriate taxpayer funds for partisan activities,” he added.

The subpoena threat comes after several GOP senators tried to seek answers in November but were rebuffed.

Sen. Bill Hagerty and 23 other senators eventually sent their own letter slamming President Biden for his “failure to respond.”

“This policy directive merits congressional oversight both as a general matter and under the Antideficiency Act,” they wrote.

“In April, a lawsuit challenging the executive order alleged it targeted key demographics to benefit the president’s political party and his own re-election,” Fox News notes.

“Tarren Bragdon, president and CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, which filed an amicus brief in a case now pending before the Supreme Court, said ‘it’s no wonder Team Biden is using their authority and resources to target welfare populations with a federally funded get-out-the-vote effort,'” according to Fox News.

Vivek Saxena

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