Sen. Johnson Joins Colleagues in Demanding Transparency from Biden on Plans for Taxpayer-Funded Voter Mobilization
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and 12 of their Republican colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden requesting a full accounting of all federal funding used to implement Executive Order 14019 on “Promoting Access to Voting,” which directs federal agencies to submit strategic plans to the White House describing how they will use taxpayer-funded resources to, among other things, “provide access to voter registration services and vote-by-mail ballot applications in the course of activities or services that directly engage with the public.”
“First, while we all agree that increased voter participation is a good thing, the job of federal agencies is to perform their defined missions in a nonpartisan way, not use their taxpayer funds for clandestine voter mobilization and election-turnout operations,” the Senators wrote.
The Senators pointed out that despite the White House’s attempt to conceal its plans, information has emerged that merits greater transparency and congressional oversight, including an announcement by the Small Business Administration (SBA) that it is “the first federal agency to request designation as a voter agency” and an announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that it plans to designate public health centers as “voting access hub[s].”
“Executive Order 14019 directs more than 600 federal agencies to engage in voter registration and mobilization efforts, despite a lack of congressional appropriation or authorization for these agencies to engage in such activity. An officer or employee who violates the Antideficiency Act is subject to administrative and potential criminal penalties, which underscores the need for transparency regarding these plans.” the Senators continued.
In order to determine the voter mobilization and electioneering activities to which the Biden Administration has devoted taxpayer resources, the Senators requested the following information by May 23, 2023:
- Full copies of all federal agency “strategic plans” required under Section 3 and a list of which agencies have not yet submitted a strategic plan
- The strategic plan required by the General Services Administration under Section 5
- The recommendations provided by the Office of Personnel Management under Section 6
- All procedures established by the Attorney General under Section 9
Co-signers of the letter include Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), along with Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Full text of the letter can be found here.