House Democrats Derail Rep. Green’s Attempt to Protect Free Speech By Voting Down His Amendment to Bill That Would Give Feds Control of Elections

House Democrats on Thursday voted down an amendment by U.S. Rep. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) to protect free speech in House Resolution 1, which seeks to change campaign finance, election and lobbying laws.

Tracking information on H.R.1 is here.

“Free speech should be protected,” Green said in a hearing at the Committee on Oversight and Reform. “House Resolution One is a misguided bill with many problems. One problem in particular has united everyone from the Heritage Foundation to the ACLU. It’s the bill’s assault on free speech.”

Video of Green’s speech is available here from C-SPAN.

Green pointed out a statement by the ACLU that the bill will “chill speech essential to our public discourse.”

“When the ACLU admonishes a Democrat bill … everyone should take notice,” he said.

Green said his amendment reaffirms the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.”

The congressman tweeted, “I offered an amendment on the House Floor today to H.R. 1 expressing the sense of Congress that free speech should be protected. Why are Democrats opposing an amendment simply reaffirming free speech?

Green also tweeted, “BREAKING: House Democrats just voted down my amendment on the freedom of speech. Even the ACLU says H.R. 1’s assault on free speech will “chill speech essential to our public discourse”. Since when did free speech become controversial?”

Speaking in opposition to Green’s amendment was U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19).

The Founding Fathers “did not fathom speech that was unaccountable to anonymous corporations that would drown out the voices of individual Americans,” she said.

Green’s amendment would protect the Citizens United decision, she said.

However, Green also tweeted:

 “#HR1 is for the politicians:

-Limits free speech

-Weakens election security

-Funds campaigns with taxpayer subsidies”

Green also tweeted Thursday, “.@SecTreHargett is right. H.R. 1 is bad policy, on many levels, and I will be voting No!”

Green referred to a letter Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett issued opposing H.R. 1, which he called a “federal power grab.”

Breitbart reported in February that conservatives were opposing H.R.1 over its plan to give states’ election powers over to the federal government.

Pelosi’s legislation is a massive federal power grab away from the states. The Constitution gives primary authority to the sovereign states to conduct elections. This bill empowers the federal government to micromanage elections by requiring states to get “preclearance” from Washington, D.C., before changing their election procedures.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Mark Green” by CSPAN.












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