Tucked into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s coronavirus relief bill are provisions for “risk-limiting audits” of elections and same-day voter registration, items long sought by Democrats but unrelated to the pandemic, Republicans charged Monday.
The bill unveiled Monday includes a section calling for “grants for conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections.” Such action generally requires a manual review of statistical samples of paper ballots to see if official election results were tallied correctly.
The measure also would require early voting in states, and same-day voter registration.
The Senate failed again on Monday to approve a test vote on a $1.8 trillion economic rescue plan endorsed by the White House and Senate Republicans, with nearly all Democrats voting no.
Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, accused Mrs. Pelosi of trying to add “liberal wish list” items to the emergency bill.
“Same-day voter registration? Where does that fit in a bill to rescue the American people who, right now, find themselves in the throes of a disease that may kill them?” Mr. Barrasso asked on the Senate floor.
He also ridiculed Democrats’ efforts to include parts of the Green New Deal clean energy agenda in the measure.
“They are delaying direct assistance so they can play to the liberal left,” Mr. Barrasso said. “They want to put up an entire cap-and-trade system for the airline industry. Nancy Pelosi has been pushing this extreme environmental agenda from the moment she cut the deal to remain as speaker.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, picked apart the Pelosi bill, for example mocking its proposal for diversity on corporate boards of directors.
“The Democrats want to impose quotas for race and sex on corporate boards,” Mr. Cotton said. “I know they’ve wanted to do that for a long time. Is that going to stop anyone from getting sick from the coronavirus?”
Of early voting and same-day voter registration, Mr. Cotton asked, “Now they want to pile election rules on a bill that’s designed to stop a pandemic?”
He also took aim at the Democrats’ proposal for airlines to go “carbon-neutral” by 2025 with emissions offsets.
“I wonder if that will apply to the private planes that Nancy Pelosi and her family flies in, and all their buddies in Hollywood,” Mr. Cotton said.
He said of requiring union officials to get paid by taxpayers for union organizing work, “Is that going to stop the pandemic?”
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