Hiding monumental things from the general public has become a staple of politicians these days, as they attempt to utilize various aspects of the legislative process to pass certain laws that they know the American people would be starkly against. This, unfortunately, is something that has been ongoing for quite some time, and the newly GOP-majority Congress is taking as much advantage of it as possible. Especially considering the divisive and detrimental policy agendas put forward by President Trump, it is clear that they are attempting to use whatever loophole possible to gain an upper-hand, specifically in the upcoming midterm elections.
New reports have emerged of a recent piece of legislation that, if implemented, would allow the Trump administration to dispatch members of the secret service to polling stations. Their justification for doing so, although fairly irrelevant considering the circumstances, is to ensure that no illegal ballot casting occurs during the election process. Lawmakers and officials around the country have begun to speak out against the legislation, claiming that it would be an overreach of power and unnecessary expansion of authority to intimidate voters around the country. According to a report from Boston Globe:
‘President Trump would be able to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places nationwide during a federal elections, a vast expansion of executive authority, if a provision in a Homeland Security reauthorization bill remains intact.
‘The rider has prompted outrage from more than a dozen top elections officials around the country, including Secretary of State William F. Galvin of Massachusetts, a Democrat, who says he is worried that it could be used to intimidate voters and said there is “no basis” for providing Trump with this new authority.’
Rider snuck onto bill to re-authorize Dept of Homeland Security to give President power to send Secret Service Agents to polling places to act as patrolling enforcers rather than as protective details for candidates — intimidation and authoritarian tactics https://t.co/RklyG0VHt3
— OhMo (@OhMo) March 11, 2018
Under current laws, the Secret Service can be dispatched to polling stations when federal officials, or the president himself, are present at the location, but current law does not allow for the provision of law enforcement at these areas. However, according to the Trump administration, the reason for doing so would be to ensure that no illegal ballots are cast during the elections process, claiming that his loss of the popular vote was a result of illegitimate votes being cast.
A provision quietly inserted in a Homeland Security Department reauthorization bill would allow Trump to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places. This is what dictators do in banana republics. Spread the word, and resist. https://t.co/kUb7DQIg4h
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) March 11, 2018
Although there has been no evidence of such illegal votes being cast during the 2016 presidential elections, Trump’s inability to internalize that he is not as popular as he believes may be a reason for the proposed legislation.
A provision in the House-passed Homeland Security reauthorization bill would allow Trump to send Secret Service agents to polling places on Election Day.
This provision is not in the Senate version, & CANNOT stand when the bills get reconciled.https://t.co/efcMY1mnQb
— Nick Knudsen🇺🇸 #BoycottNRA🚫 (@DemWrite) March 12, 2018
Thus far, the Homeland Security reauthorization bill has been able to pass the House with bipartisan support, while the Senate version of the bill was passed within the appropriate committee, without the inclusion of the aforementioned provision. If the bill passes the Senate as a whole, it will then be brought to a conference committee where a final version of the bill must be voted on by both the House and the Senate.
This would be voter intimidation: "President Trump would be able to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places nationwide during a federal election … if a provision in a Homeland Security reauthorization bill remains intact." https://t.co/x96cc7pcvB
— Stephen Wolf (@PoliticsWolf) March 11, 2018
The new addition to the reauthorization bill provides insight into Trump’s ongoing battle to remain in office, and maintain a GOP-majority legislature, despite the waning support for the right. As more and more special elections are found in favor of Democrats, it is apparent that Republicans are feeling the pressure to maintain their seats in the important upcoming midterm elections.
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