Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett strives to show independence from White House, Republicans

WASHINGTON – Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett fought back Tuesday against caricatures that she is a committed advocate for conservative causes chosen by President Donald Trump to do his bidding on issues ranging from abortion to the Affordable Care Act.

Barrett: Noboday wants ‘Law of Amy’

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In a marathon session before the Senate Judiciary Committee just three weeks from Election Day, Barrett was put on the defensive by Democrats charging that she was picked because of her views on abortion, gun rights, same-sex marriage and particularly the health care law headed to the high court for the third time next month.

“That is their stated objective and plan. Why not take them at their word?” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in reference to Republicans and special-interest groups backing Barrett’s nomination.

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Barrett strived to show her independence from the president and conservative forces that have joined together in hopes of a speedy confirmation, wedged tightly between Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and an election that Trump has made clear could be challenged in court.

“I certainly hope that all members of the committee have more confidence in my integrity than to think that I would allow myself to be used as a pawn to decide the election for the American people,” Barrett said.

More: Supreme Court begins 2020 term as a key election issue: Will it decide the election, too?

But several Democrats implied just that. They urged Barrett to pledge that if confirmed, she would recuse herself both from cases involving the election and from the challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

“Republicans are scrambling to confirm this nominee as fast as possible because they need one more Trump judge on the bench before Nov. 10 to win and strike down the Affordable Care Act,” Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, a committee member, said as the hearing stretched past dinner time. “This is happening.”

Time and again in response, Barrett indicated that she came to the hearing with an agenda: to assure senators she has no agenda.

“Judges cannot just wake up one day and say: ‘I have an agenda. I like guns. I hate abortion,’ and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” she said.

Despite efforts by Democrats to paint her as a hard-right conservative, Barrett refused to be pinned down on such hot-button issues as race and LGBTQ rights. When the subject of racial justice came up, she recounted how she wept with one of her daughters, who is Black and adopted from Haiti, over the death of George Floyd while being pinned down by police in Minneapolis.



a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett listens during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.


© Bonnie Cash, AP
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett listens during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

“Racism persists in our country,” she said, later condemning white supremacy and acknowledging that there is

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The outlook for House Republicans keeps getting worse

In an interview, Tenney railed against Brindisi as a faux-moderate with a record that doesn’t match his centrist brand. But she conceded that she would be in a better position if she could match Brindisi’s TV ad spending. He has so far reserved $1.6 million in ads to her $200,000, according to media buying data.

Outside groups on both sides are heavily invested in the race. The National Republican Congressional Committee and its ally, the Congressional Leadership Fund, have dropped a whopping $8.4 million on ads. They are attempting to push Tenney over the finish line, a strategy that underscores a benefit of Democrats’ fundraising edge.

“People think I raised their cable rates, that I’m giving Spectrum a tax cut that gave them a $9 billion windfall,” Tenney said in an interview. “Nobody’s fact-checking that in the media. We’re trying to get it out there with a fraction of the resources that he has. He’s running nonstop negative ads making me out to be a monster on every issue, that I’m against people with pre-existing conditions.”

Candidates purchase ads at cheaper rates than super PACs and they can also drive their own messaging. Tenney, who voted in 2017 for the House GOP’s replacement for the 2010 health care law, bemoaned the fact that she can’t invest more in digital ads or put more positive spots on the air.

Top Democratic operatives appear more worried about holding a rural seat in southern New Mexico held by Torres Small, another vulnerable freshman. Recent polling shows a virtually tied race, and Republicans are dumping money on ads casting her as an acolyte of Speaker Nancy Pelosi who won’t support the state’s oil and gas industry.

But like in the Brindisi-Tenney race, Torres Small is also facing a rematch against Yvette Herrell, the woman she beat in 2018 — and Democrats are hammering Herrell over the same ethics issues they litigated two years ago. And Herrell is also leaning heavily on outside help: Torres Small is outspending her opponent by a nearly five-to-one margin on TV ads.

Republicans’ outlays against a handful of the most beatable Democrats have hampered their ability to craft a serious path back to the majority. Democrats have seized on their cash advantage to contest districts in deep-red territory, forcing the GOP to retrench and protect incumbents and open seats.

As of mid-October, national Republicans are playing more defense than offense, airing TV ads in 28 GOP-held districts compared to 25 Democratic-held ones, according to a POLITICO analysis of data from Advertising Analytics, a TV tracking firm.

“We’re able to flip the tables and focus on expanding the map. And I do think that that’s a shift,” said Abby Curran Horrell, the executive director of House Majority PAC, Democrats’ main House super PAC. “They are tied down in districts that I think they expected that they would be able to win easily. But it is not that type of year.”

Meanwhile, Democrats are feeling more optimistic about a Richmond, Va.-area

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White House, Democrats Both Support Coronavirus Stimulus Checks, Kudlow Expects Republicans To Fall In Line

KEY POINTS

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said stimulus talks appear to be at a standstill
  • Larry Kudlow says talks are not dead 
  • Kudlow insisted the U.S. is in a V-shaped recovery but certain sectors still need help

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says he expects Republicans to fall in line if the White House reaches agreement with Democrats on the next round of coronavirus stimulus relief.

Negotiations appeared at a standstill after President Donald Trump agreed to boost the size of the package to $1.8 trillion – a move rejected by Democrats who called it inadequate and Republicans who said it was too expensive.

Kudlow told CNN’s “State of the Union” he talked with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Saturday night and is convinced stimulus talks are not dead, noting Senate Republicans unanimously passed their own version of coronavirus relief – albeit a modest $500 billion measure – and “they will go along with it” once a deal is struck between Democrats and the White House.

House Democrats earlier passed a $2.2 trillion package, a slimmed down version of the more than $3 trillion measure they approved in May.

“We’re asking for targeted assistance,” said Kudlow, ticking off a list: enhanced unemployment benefits, aid to small businesses and direct stimulus checks to individuals.

“Those are things everybody absolutely wants,” Kudlow said.

Among the sticking points is the size of enhanced unemployment benefits. Democrats wants Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic to receive an extra $600 a week – the same amount that was approved as part of the CARES Act in March – while the White House has supported $400 a week.

Democrats also want funds for cash-strapped state and local governments, which bore the brunt of coronavirus costs, help for schools for COVID-19 testing and cleaning, and funds for the postal service to ensure smooth operations through the election.

“I don’t understand the intransigence from my Democratic friends,” Kudlow said, insisting the U.S. is in the midst of a V-shaped recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession.

In a note to her caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday President Donald Trump still is not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously, offering just $45 billion in new money for meeting health needs, “about 60% of what is needed, according to medical experts. More importantly, it is not spent strategically.”

She also noted there still is no national plan for testing, tracing and treatment.

“It is hard to understand who is shaping their approach, which to date has been a miserable and deadly failure,” Pelosi said.

“Until these serious issues are resolved, we remain at an impasse.”

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POLITICO Playbook: Republicans face the prospect of more House losses

THE UNDERTOLD STORY in Washington right now is how KEVIN MCCARTHY’S House Republican minority is likely to thin quite significantly after this election. STEVE SHEPARD, our election guru, has moved a few Republican incumbents’ seats toward Democrats in his forecast: Reps. ANNE WAGNER in the St. Louis burbs, JIM HAGEDORN in Minnesota and STEVE CHABOT in the Cincinnati area.

OUR OVER/UNDER is Republicans taking a net loss of seven seats. DAVE WASSERMAN of the Cook Political Report pegged the losses at between five and 15 seats.

HERE’S A QUESTION TO PONDER: Who in Republican leadership takes the fall if Republicans lose as many as 10 seats?

SHEPARD has also put JOE BIDEN over 270 electoral votes, which would, of course, hand him the presidency. Steve’s analysis

— ZACH MONTELLARO and DAVID SIDERS: “How Biden could end 2020 on election night — and why Trump’s path is unlikely”

HAPPENING THIS MORNING — AMY CONEY BARRETT’S Supreme Court confirmation hearing begins at 9 a.m. Indiana GOP Sens. MIKE BRAUN and TODD YOUNG will introduce her to the committee, and Notre Dame’s PATRICIA O’HARA will also speak. Senators will give opening statements — some will be in the room, others will be remote.

— THERE ARE 22 MEMBERS of the committee, and they’ll all get 10 minutes to make an opening statement. YOUNG and BRAUN won’t introduce BARRETT until the afternoon. BARRETT will likely give her statement in the mid- to late afternoon.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK … STATE HOUSE LEADERS in all 50 states have written a letter to Senate and Judiciary Committee leadership urging Barrett’s confirmation. The letter BOSTON GLOBE: “Baker, Sununu do not sign GOP governors’ letter supporting Coney Barrett nomination to Supreme Court”

NEW POLL — WAPO’S SCOTT CLEMENT and EMILY SUSKIN: “A slight majority of American voters oppose the Senate holding confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett that begin Monday, though opposition has eased since President Trump announced his choice to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

“The national poll finds 44 percent of registered voters say the U.S. Senate should hold hearings and vote on Barrett’s nomination, while 52 percent say filling this Supreme Court seat should be left to the winner of the presidential election and a Senate vote next year. Support for leaving the decision to the next president is down from 57 percent in a Post-ABC poll last month that asked whether the Senate should confirm Trump’s nominee, who had not yet been named.”

VERY, VERY DEEP DIVE … NYT, A1: “Rooted in Faith, Representing a New Conservatism: Amy Coney Barrett’s Path to a Court Pick,” by Elisabeth Dias, Rebecca Ruiz in South Bend, Ind., and Sharon LaFraniere in New Orleans

— NYT’S CARL HULSE on Sen. KAMALA HARRIS’ (D-Calif.) role as a member of the Judiciary panel and how it

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Nancy Pelosi merely panned the White House’s $1.8 trillion relief offer, but Republicans revolted against it.

Senate Republicans revolted over the contours of a $1.8 trillion relief proposal that is the Trump administration’s latest and largest offer to House Democrats, further jeopardizing already dim prospects for an agreement on a broad stimulus bill before Election Day.

Even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted that the offer remained inadequate, many Republican senators lashed into the administration’s approach to the revived negotiations during a conference call on Saturday morning between close to half of the chamber’s Republicans and top administration officials.

The $1.8 trillion proposal that Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, put forward on Friday was the administration’s biggest offer since bipartisan negotiations began in late summer. The proposal came just days after President Trump abruptly ended negotiations and then, facing a backlash, reversed course and began urgently seeking to secure Democratic support for a deal.

The stark divisions between most Senate Republicans and the White House undercut the potential for an agreement before the election on Nov. 3, even as the country’s economic recovery continues to falter and tens of thousands of Americans, businesses and schools struggle to weather the pandemic without federal relief.

The Republican criticism on Saturday was so severe that Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, at one point told the senators on the conference call that he would relay their concerns to Mr. Trump, but that then “you all will have to come to my funeral.” (Mr. Mnuchin concurred.)

Details of the call were described in some manner by seven people briefed on the discussion, who all insisted on anonymity to disclose details of a private conversation.

Most of the senators who spoke on the call signaled an openness to continuing negotiations. However, there was widespread dissatisfaction with how expensive the administration’s offer had become, as well as with the perception that Mr. Mnuchin, in talks with Ms. Pelosi, was relying far more on the Democrats’ proposed $2.2 trillion plan as a baseline than the two more limited proposals put forward by Senate Republicans.

“There’s no appetite right now to spend the White House number or the House number,” Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said on the call, reflecting longstanding concerns among senators eager to protect their credentials as fiscal hawks and stave off primary challengers in the next election cycle.

Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee warned that accepting a bill with Ms. Pelosi’s support would amount to a “death knell” for Republican ambitions to retain their majority in the Senate and would “deflate” the party’s base.

Ms. Pelosi, for her part, informed Democratic lawmakers on Saturday that she found elements of Mr. Mnuchin’s proposal to be inadequate, writing in a letter that “this proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back.”

“When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold,” Ms. Pelosi wrote, adding “at this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities.” She ticked off a number of unresolved

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Senate Republicans will ‘go along with’ White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback

President Trump’s economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Sunday that Senate Republicans will “go along with” the $1.8 trillion White House stimulus proposal despite their vocal pushback.



Lawrence Kudlow wearing a suit and tie: Trump economic adviser: Senate Republicans will 'go along with' White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback


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Trump economic adviser: Senate Republicans will ‘go along with’ White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback

Kudlow told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the White House expects GOP support from Republicans in the upper chamber. A source told The Hill on Saturday that several senators expressed “significant concerns” about the proposal’s cost in a call with administration officials.

The White House economic adviser said on Sunday he does not think the coronavirus stimulus bill is “dead.”

“Don’t forget, Republicans in the Senate put up their own bill a few weeks ago and got 53 votes, I think it was, so they united,” he said. “I think if an agreement can be reached, they will go along with it.”

Kudlow also criticized Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for their “intransigence” over funding unemployment assistance, small business loans and stimulus checks in individual bills or an overall bill.

“Well, I’m not talking about your Democratic friends,” CNN host Jake Tapper pushed back. “I’m talking about 20 Senate Republicans who were mad at Secretary Mnuchin and saying that the proposal of $1.8 trillion was way too much.”

Video: Problem Solvers Caucus leaders push for coronavirus stimulus deal (FOX News)

Problem Solvers Caucus leaders push for coronavirus stimulus deal

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The White House economic adviser noted the president would “go beyond” the cost of the current proposal to fund assistance for unemployed people, small business loans and stimulus checks.

“I think if we could get this thing settled on the Democrat side, we will get it settled on the Republican side,” he said. “There will still be further efforts of negotiation perhaps today but certainly this coming week.”

“The D’s are holding this thing up,” he added.

Kudlow also told CNN that he doesn’t think the economic “recovery” in the U.S. “is dependent on” a stimulus bill.

When Tapper said the Federal Reserve chairman disagreed, Kudlow said he’s “essentially saying the same thing – targeted assistance would be a good idea.”

Kudlow’s remarks come after the White House proposed a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package, a higher amount than the $1.6 trillion offered last week and rejected by Pelosi and Democrats.

Several Senate Republicans blasted the proposal in a call with White House officials, with Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) labeling it a “death knell” for the GOP ahead of the elections

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Senate Republicans Denounce White House’s Offer for Coronavirus Relief

Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a Republican, warned that accepting a bill with Ms. Pelosi’s support would amount to a “death knell” for the party’s ambitions to retain its majority in the Senate and would “deflate” the Republican base, reflecting longstanding concerns among senators eager to protect their credentials as fiscal hawks and stave off primary challengers in the next election cycle.

Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, declared that accepting a Democratic push to expand elements of the Affordable Care Act would be “an enormous betrayal” of Republican voters. Republicans have also voiced concerns that the health care provisions Democrats have pressed for could result in the use of federal funds for abortions, a characterization Democrats dispute.

“I don’t get it,” Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, said of the administration’s efforts to reach a sweeping bipartisan deal with House Democrats, echoing the sentiments of multiple senators.

Ms. Pelosi, for her part, informed Democratic lawmakers that she found elements of Mr. Mnuchin’s proposal to be inadequate, writing in a letter on Saturday that “this proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back.” After scaling down House Democrats’ original $3.4 trillion proposal to $2.2 trillion, she has been unwilling to accept much less than that.

“When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold,” Ms. Pelosi wrote, adding “at this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities.” She ticked off a number of unresolved issues, including what she said was insufficient funding for unemployment benefits, child care, and state and local governments, and “reckless” liability protections that Republicans have insisted are a priority.

She said she was waiting for specific language from the administration about several provisions, including a national strategy for testing and tracing to contain the spread of the virus. It remained unclear whether she and Mr. Mnuchin would speak over the weekend.

Moderate Republicans, particularly those who are facing tough re-election races, are among the few senators who have voiced support for a bipartisan coronavirus deal and expressed few reservations about the pice tag. A handful of those senators, on a private call with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, pushed for action on a bipartisan deal, particularly after Mr. Trump briefly withdrew negotiators from talks and gave Democrats political cover for failure to reach an agreement.

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Senate Republicans rip new White House coronavirus proposal

Senate Republicans on Saturday offered fierce pushback against the administration’s latest coronavirus relief proposal during a call with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks | Trump proposes .8T coronavirus relief package | Vegas ties helped Trump score M windfall in 2016 Trump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks SBA simplifies PPP forgiveness for small loans MORE and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election Debate commission co-chair: ‘No evidence whatsoever’ Trump has tested negative The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Dems ruffle feathers with POTUS fitness bill MORE.

Senate Republicans raised concerns about the $1.8 trillion price tag of the White House’s latest offer to House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLoeffler unveils resolution condemning Pelosi for comments on 25th Amendment On The Money: Trump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks | Trump proposes .8T coronavirus relief package | Vegas ties helped Trump score M windfall in 2016 Trump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks MORE (D-Calif.), multiple sources familiar with the call told The Hill.

One source familiar with the call said that there were “significant concerns raised with the price tag.”

“There’s an openness to continue negotiating, but the current topline is an obstacle,” the source added.

Concerns about the White House’s offer came from across the conference, underscoring the work the White House and Trump face to get any potential deal across the finish line in the GOP-controlled Senate even as the president has publicly urged negotiators to “go big.”

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThis week: Coronavirus complicates Senate’s Supreme Court fight Poll finds support for independent arbiters resolving ‘surprise’ medical bills Democratic Senate candidate in Tennessee discusses working-class background MORE (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate’s Health Committee, told Meadows and Mnuchin that there was “no appetite” within the Senate Republican conference for a $1.8 trillion bill, a second person briefed on the call told The Hill. Sen. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGOP Sen. Thom Tillis tests positive for coronavirus Netflix distances from author’s comments about Muslim Uyghurs but defends project Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns MORE (R-Tenn.) warned that it could be a “death knell” for the party in November and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told Meadows and Mnuchin “I don’t get it.”

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 Cruz says he raised concerns with Trump over Gorsuch and Kavanaugh before nominations Deadline accidentally publishes story about Pence being diagnosed with COVID-19 MORE (R-Utah), who recently tested positive for the coronavirus, also expressed concern that it would cost the party support in the election and would take the focus off of the caucus’s top priority: confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

In response

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Republicans Aim to Flip Minnesota Blue-Dog Democrat’s House Seat

(Bloomberg Businessweek) — Representative Collin Peterson’s reelection campaign got a call this summer about some trouble downstate in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. Farmers supporting the 15-term Democratic congressman, who chairs the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, had put Peterson placards up along a stretch of highway. The problem, according to the worried campaign volunteer, was that they were sitting next to signs for President Donald Trump.

“What do you mean, a problem?” an aide asked the volunteer, according to Peterson’s retelling of the conversation. “How do you think he gets elected?”

The exchange sums up the question at the core of this closely watched race. Peterson may be a Democrat. But he’s pro-gun rights and pro-life, and a founding member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition. “At one time there were a lot of people like me” in Congress, he says. “I’m the only pro-life Democrat left. I’m the only NRA A+ Democrat left.”

So far, his social and fiscal conservatism has helped him fend off Republican challengers as his largely rural district in Minnesota has gone deep red. Trump swept the district by 31 points four years ago, making this the most Republican House district in America still represented by a Democrat. Will enough Trump voters split their tickets this time around and send Peterson back to Washington? Republicans are betting no. They see 2020 as their moment to flip the seat.

Peterson has his most formidable competitor in 30 years in Michelle Fischbach, a former Minnesota lieutenant governor and the first woman president of the state senate, who’s been endorsed by Trump. She’s hoping that endorsement and her emphasis on low taxes, border security, law and order, and other conservative issues will help her overcome the challenge of going up against a veteran House Agriculture Committee member in a farm-heavy district.

“She’s raising money. She knows how to run a campaign, and she’s viewed as a better financial investment by outside donors than previous challengers have been,” says Kathryn Pearson, an associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Campaign analysts at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rate the race a toss-up.

Fischbach, 54, is touting a “fresh outlook.” She says voters “are tired of Collin Peterson. They are tired of Nancy Pelosi.” And she says Peterson “only votes with Republicans when it makes him look good in the district.” She’s also sought to tie the 76-year-old congressman to a “socialist” Democratic agenda. Peterson, who voted against impeaching Trump and who enjoys hunting bears and deer on his farm when not on Capitol Hill, says attempts to portray him as aligned with progressives such as Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez show that Republicans “have nothing else than to make up stuff.”

The two candidates aren’t far apart on fundraising, with Peterson taking in $1.23 million from January 2019 through July 22, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Fischbach brought in $1 million over the same period. She has significantly outspent Peterson, however.

But

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Top House Republicans light into DC elections board for ‘failure to take responsibility’ for voter rolls

Top House Republicans on Thursday are sending a letter to the Washington, D.C., Board of Elections (DCBOE) expressing concern over reports that many ballots are being sent to people who have moved or died and lighting into the board for “its failure to take responsibility” for its voter rolls.

The letter comes after D.C. began mailing ballots to residents late last month in an effort to allow people to avoid polling places on Election Day and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. But soon after there were widespread complaints from voters that they were getting ballots that were addressed to people who had in some cases not lived at a particular residence for years. Some voters reported that they still were sent ballots for voters who no longer lived in their residence even after they had returned DCBOE postcards confirming that certain voters no longer lived at their address.

“Notwithstanding its failure to take responsibility for creating this avoidable situation, the Board places a large onus squarely on individual citizens to clean up a mess solely of the Board’s making,” said the Republicans, led by Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer of Kentucky. “This appears to be the only ‘safeguard’ in place, with no other procedures to avoid, detect, and/or divert misaddressed ballots.”

RETURN TO SENDER: DC VOTERS ARE BEING SENT MAIL-IN BALLOTS FOR EX-RESIDENTS

Outdated voter rolls are a common problem in many jurisdictions around the country. But the issue has been brought to the forefront ahead of the 2020 presidential election as many states and jurisdictions like D.C. are quickly moving to universal mail-in voting systems — where all voters are sent mail ballots without needing to request them — amid the pandemic.

The elections board asked the voters repeatedly on social media to mark any such ballots “return to sender” and mail them back so the DCBOE could update its voter rolls. A  spokesperson for the DCBOE told Fox News last week that it is asking voters to “do your part” and “don’t take advantage” of ballots that were sent to them in error. When voters return such ballots to sender, the DCBOE will update its records, the spokesperson said.

TEXAS GOVERNOR FACES THIRD LAWSUIT OVER LIMIT ON MAIL BALLOT DROP-OFF SITES

“In fact, it is unclear whether the DC Board of Elections took any steps to prevent misaddressed ballots from being sent out in the first place,” the House Republicans continued in their letter. “It is unclear when the Board last updated its voter rolls or whether it is currently taking any steps to rectify the current situation. It is also unclear what safeguards the DC Board of Elections has in place to detect fraudulent ballots or preventing an individual from casting multiple ballots.”

The DCBOE told Fox News last week that it verifies signatures of all mail-in ballots so that any ballots sent fraudulently will be detected. When asked last week whether it was taking any proactive steps to prevent more misaddressed ballots from

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