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Jan 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) is introducing an important new piece of legislation called the Save Democracy Act. This legislation has received the formal backing of the Republican Study Committee and addresses one of the top issue areas Chairman Banks has prioritized for the 117th Congress: Restoring Trust in Elections. Please find a statement below:

 

“The Republican Study Committee formally endorses the Save Democracy Act that would ensure free and fair federal elections in 2022, 2024 and the years to come. It is our duty to protect and uphold the democratic process and restore public trust in our election system.”

 

Chairman Jim Banks said: “This bill will restore the public’s trust that their vote is counted and their voice is heard.”

 

Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson said: “I applaud Chairman Banks and members of the RSC for putting forward real solutions to help protect the integrity of our elections and the sanctity of the vote.  The Save Democracy Act will protect against fraud, ensuring our next election is safer and more secure."

 

Rep. Rick Allen said: “Voting is the most important tool in which we shape our republic. Too many Americans have lost faith in the integrity of our elections, and it is incumbent on leaders at all levels to work together to implement safeguards to strengthen and restore faith in the process. The Save Democracy Act will help to ensure that only legal votes are counted through necessary reforms to registering voters, casting ballots and tabulating ballots.”

 

Rep. Kelly Armstrong said: “Ensuring integrity of elections is a cornerstone of our American republic. I strongly oppose federal control of our election process, and this bill enacts commonsense, limited reforms to federal election laws to ensure that the states have the tools needed to securely and fairly conduct our elections and restore faith in our democratic process.”

 

Rep. Jodey Arrington said: “Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our constitutional republic. We must restore America’s confidence in the integrity of our elections, which was seriously undermined by the weak and unreliable voting rules in the 2020 Presidential Election. The Save Democracy Act will protect states’ sovereignty while ensuring integrity for all through basic standards and safeguards in national elections.”

 

Rep. Ted Budd said: “The 2020 election exposed the need for wholesale reform of our elections. In the end, faith in our government is at stake. Faith in our institutions rests on whether or not people believe that their vote counts. The way to restore this faith is to demonstrate that we hear the American people’s concerns and act accordingly. Chairman Banks’ Save Democracy Act goes a long way to restore election integrity and I thank him for taking the lead on this.”

 

Rep. Kat Cammack said: “The Save Democracy Act will improve security and administration measures to protect the integrity of our electoral system. The 2020 presidential election revealed glaring weaknesses that must be addressed and this bill will take the necessary steps to make sure Americans have confidence in their sacred right to vote.”

 

Rep. Lance Gooden said: “Americans should have faith their legal vote isn’t being drowned out by ballots cast illegally. We must prevent any problems that occurred during the 2020 election from happening again.”

 

Rep. Kevin Hern said: “The Save Democracy Act will restore confidence in American elections and ensure that when you cast your vote, that vote is safe. After past elections, millions of Americans raised concerns about the security of their votes from attackers both foreign and domestic. Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire – even the appearance of corruption must be rooted out. These common-sense reforms would give Americans the assurance they need to vote with confidence and trust the results.”

 

Rep. Yvette Herrel said: “The Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to make or alter state election regulations at any time. The reforms included in the Save Democracy Act – from citizenship and voter verification requirements to ballot integrity measures – are essential to restoring Americans’ faith in the fairness of our elections.”

 

Rep. Ronnie Jackson said: “As we look to heal from a tumultuous election cycle, election integrity will be a critical issue to address. We cannot allow our elections to become so clouded with doubt that distrust becomes the new norm. Congress must do its job to give Americans confidence in their vote and to crack down on opportunities for fraud. That is why I signed on as an original co-sponsor to the Save Democracy Act, which includes commonsense reforms to voter registration, ballot casting, and ballot tabulation processes in federal elections.”

 

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said: I’m proud to join Chairman Banks to push the Save Democracy Act that will secure voter registration, protect ballot casting and safeguard ballot tabulation. Nothing is more important than the integrity of our election system and it is past time for Congress to come together and work in a bipartisan fashion to improve it, eliminate irregularities and fraud and ensure that election security is no longer debated in the future.”

Rep. August Pfluger said: “The people of the 11th District of Texas demand secure and transparent elections. In that effort, I am proud to support the Save Democracy Act to address key failures in our electoral system including voter registration, ballot casting, and ballot counting. It is imperative that Congress moves to restore the faith in our democratic process and bring certitude to every American.”   

  

List of Original Cosponsors:
Kat Cammack (R-FL)                        Yvette Herrell (R-NM)

Clay Higgins (R-LA                          Dan Meuser (R-PA)

Andy Barr (R-KY)                             Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY)

Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)                      Ronny Jackson (R-TX)

Lance Gooden (R-TX)                       Kelly Armstrong (R-ND)

Jackie Walorski (R-IN)                      Brian Babin (R-TX)

W. Gregory Steube (R-FL)                Michael Waltz (R-FL)

Ralph Norman (R-SC)                       Kevin Hern (R-OK)

Bob Good (R-VA)                              Ted Budd (R-NC)

Tim Walberg (R-MI)                          Randy Weber (R-TX)

David McKinley (R-WV)                   Rick Allen (R-GA)

August Pfluger (R-TX)                       Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL)

Jodey Arrington (R-TX)                     Jeff Duncan (R-SC)

Austin Scott (R-GA)                           Bob Gibbs (R-SC)

Bill Posey (R-FL)                               Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA)

 

For a copy of the bill, please reach out to me at mitchell.hailstone@mail.house.gov.

 

BACKGROUND:

 

The Save Democracy Act would prohibit or reform current practices that weaken the security, oversight, and administration of elections for federal office. The Save Democracy Act would enhance federal election integrity by addressing three key areas: (1) Voter Registration; (2) Casting of Ballots; (3) Tabulation of Ballots. 

 

Voter Registration:

·         Prohibits automatic voter registration for federal elections.

·         Requires voter citizenship verification to register to vote in federal elections.

·         Requires full Social Security Numbers (SSN) to register to vote in federal elections. 

·         Requires federal courts to notify state election officials when an individual is excused from jury duty because they are not a citizen. 

 

Casting of Ballots:

·         Prohibit states from sending out unrequested absentee ballots for federal elections.

·         Bars anyone other than the voter, an election official, or the post office from submitting a ballot to a polling location during federal elections.

·         Prohibits use of public ballot collection boxes in federal elections.

·         Requires that absentee ballots be received by the close of election day for federal elections.

·         Requires a voter to provide proof of I.D. for absentee voting and in-person voting in federal elections, creating equal treatment for all ballots.

·         Requires voters to produce a matching SSN printed on their ballot in federal elections. Additionally, requires election officials to cross-check the SSN on a ballot with the voter’s registration and submit such data to Congress. 

·         Maintains current protections for military and overseas voters. 

 

Tabulation of Ballots:

·         Requires that at least two representatives of each Presidential campaign in a general election be permitted to observe polls and vote counting operations.

·         Requires that ballot counting, once begun, continue until completed—no delays or pauses.

·         Requires the audit of ballot tabulation systems within the 30-day period following a federal election.

 

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Dec 14, 2020

WASHINGTON -- Chairman-elect Jim Banks today announced a strong list of conservatives who will serve the Republican Study Committee on the Executive Committee, Steering Committee and as Task Force Chairs. In total, there are five members on the Executive Committee, fourteen members on the Steering Committee and three task force chairs.

“Conservatives are as unified as ever, and together we will spend the next two years fighting the radical Democrats and stopping them from implementing their socialist agenda,” said Banks. “At the same time Republican Study Committee will work hard the next two years to pave the way for a conservative agenda that House Republicans can implement when we win back the Majority in 2022.”

 

Here is the full list of leaders of the Republican Study Committee for the 117th Congress:

Executive Committee

Steve Scalise
Mike Johnson
Jim Banks
Jeff Duncan – appointed 
Brad Wenstrup – appointed 

 

Steering Committee 

Kelly Armstrong 
Jodey Arrington 
Andy Barr
Kat Cammack 
Kevin Hern 
Debbie Lesko
Guy Reschenthaler 
Chip Roy 
Greg Steube 
Bruce Westerman 

 

Ex-Officio Steering Members

Doug Lamborn
Byron Donalds
Lauren Boebert
Yvette Herrell 

 

Task Force Chairs

Budget & Spending Task Force – Kevin Hern
Health Care Task Force – Chip Roy
National Security & Foreign Affairs Task Force – Joe Wilson   

Dec 8, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Mike Johnson (LA-04) today released the following statement after members of the RSC introduced six bills based on recommendations from the RSC’s National Security Strategy: Strengthening America & Countering Global Threats (click here to view the full report) to counter Chinese Communist Party (CCP) aggression: 

“Conservatives are leading the charge in confronting our nation’s greatest threat--the Chinese Communist Party--for its malign influence, brazen IP theft, and brutal oppression of minorities. I’m pleased to see these strong policy solutions from our Republican Study Committee's National Security Strategy introduced, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to advance these ideas and hold the CCP accountable,” said Johnson. 

Legislation introduced from RSC’s National Security Strategy: Strengthening America & Countering Global Threats

 

Nov 19, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) elected Congressman Jim Banks (IN-3) as the Chairman of RSC for the 117th Congress. RSC Chairman Mike Johnson (LA-04) and Congressman Jim Banks released the following statements:

“The Republican Study Committee will be in great hands in the 117th Congress with my good friend and colleague, Congressman Jim Banks, at the helm. I know Jim will provide principled leadership for our caucus, maintain the structural improvements we've implemented the past two years, and help advance the important policy solutions that our members have developed. RSC is well positioned to continue to lead as the 'intellectual arsenal' of conservatism in the House, and I have total confidence in our new chairman to guide our group in this next critical season," said Johnson.

“Under Chairman Mike Johnson’s leadership, the Republican Study Committee has produced the legislative playbook for conservatives that we’ll use this upcoming term and when we win back the House majority in 2022. I thank Chairman Johnson for his service to our conservative cause and putting in such hard work over the last two years, and I look forward to continuing the mission of Republican Study Committee next term,” said Banks.

 

Oct 30, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), spearheaded by RSC Chairman Mike Johnson (LA-04), introduced 3 commonsense, federal workforce modernization reforms inspired by both RSC’s Government Efficiency, Accountability, and Reform (GEAR) Task Force’s report, Power, Practices, Personnel: 100+ Commonsense Solutions to Better Government, and American Worker Task Force’s report, Reclaiming the American Dream: Proposals to Empower the Workers of Today and Tomorrow. The reforms are a collaboration of two RSC Task Forces and inspired by the Trump Administration’s bold leadership to introduce common sense, private sector led best practices into the federal workforce. Conservatives are proud to lead these government modernization efforts to empower employees to better serve the American people, streamline processes to attract the best and brightest to our public service, and enhance accountability. 

 

Legislation introduced from Power, Practices, Personnel: 100+ Commonsense Solutions to Better Government and Reclaiming the American Dream: Proposals to Empower the Workers of Today and Tomorrow

 

"I am proud to see our members taking action to transform the Republican Study Committee proposals into meaningful legislation that will provide Americans with a more efficient, effective, and accountable federal government. We appreciate President Trump, OMB Director Vought and this administration for their bold leadership to modernize the federal employee hiring process and equip public servants to better carry out their duties on behalf of the American people. Congress owes it to the millions of Americans who fund this government to work together to get these bills passed and signed into law without delay.” said Chairman Johnson.

 

“The American taxpayer deserves a modern and well-organized government that works effectively on their behalf. My legislation would mirror the president’s Executive Order by creating a new classification within the federal workforce titled ‘Schedule F’ reserved for employees serving in positions considered confidential with the authority to influence public policy,” said Rep. Keller. “By enacting this legislation, we can increase accountability and transparency within federal agencies by allowing them to more efficiently remove employees who perform poorly, while also enabling those agencies to better recruit high quality candidates, and more easily reward employees who excel at their jobs.”

 

“Overregulating the federal government’s hiring process only leads to wasted time and taxpayer dollars. However, by giving federal agencies the authority to hire their own employees and cut through the unnecessary red tape, this legislation will promote the much-needed fiscal responsibility and efficiency at all levels of our federal government, ” said Rep. Steube.

 

Oct 2, 2020

JOHNSON, WILSON APPLAUD THE RECOMMENDATIONS IN

THE CHINA TASK FORCE REPORT

 

WASHINGTON – Today, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) – the largest caucus of conservatives in the House of Representatives – Chairman Mike Johnson (LA-04) and RSC National Security and Foreign Affairs Task Force Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) applauded the work and recommendations of the China Task Force,led by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and RSC member and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (TX-10), to counter Chinese Communist Party (CCP) aggression. Their report included recommendations from the RSC National Security Strategy: Strengthening America & Countering Global Threats (click here to view the full proposal) like sanctioning the United Front Work Department, enhancing the U.S.’s ability bring cases of IP theft forward, encouraging the completion of free trade agreements with allies, and protecting our universities from CCP propaganda, among others. 

 

“It’s encouraging that progress is being made to hold the CCP, one of the greatest threats to the U.S. and all of the free world, accountable for its years of aggression,”  said Johnson. “Many of our recommendations in the RSC National Security Strategy have already been implemented by President Trump, with some being made into law, and we are appreciative that the China Task Force has also included some of our top recommendations in its report as well. The CCP’s malign influence in the U.S. will come to an end, and it started right here, with the help of this Administration and Republican policies.”

 

"I applaud the China Task Force for their report urging important actions be taken against the Chinese Communist Party,” said Wilson. “As Chairman of the Republican Study Committee’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Task Force, I am grateful that the China Task Force has included over a dozen major initiatives that were recommended by our National Security Strategy report back in June. We can no longer stand by while the CCP continues their harmful efforts against the United States and on the world stage." 

  

List of RSC recommendations included in the China Task Force report: 

 

  1. Create a new sanctions authority to sanction the United Front Work Department of the CCP
  2. Enhance the ability to bring cases for IP theft by ensuring the Defend Trade Secrets Act applies extraterritorially
  3. Require the Department of the Treasury to produce an annual report identifying companies that have stolen or benefited from stolen IP from U.S. companies
  4. Require the Department of Defense research grant applicants to certify that no recipients have ever participated in a Chinese talent recruitment program
  5. Enact the Safe Career Transitions for Intelligence and National Security Professionals Act
  6. Enact the Promoting Secure 5G Act
  7. Enhance FARA to eliminate loopholes for agents of companies affiliated with the CCP
  8. Enact the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act 
  9. Enact the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act
  10. Amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to allow suits against foreign states’ corporate affiliates under the law’s commercial activity exception
  11. Enact the Protect our Universities Act
  12. Enact the Countering the Chinese Government and Communist Party’s Political Influence Operations Act
  13. Encourage the completion of free trade agreements with democratic partners countering China including India, Taiwan, Japan, and others
  14. Pressure the United Nations to increase its employment of U.S. nationals
  15. Compete to win in international organizations by coordinating with other countries to back the election of U.S. and U.S.-supported candidates for leadership within the UN system
  16. Push for Taiwan’s inclusion in international organizations
  17. Require institutions of higher education to disclose gifts above $50,000
  18. Counter Chinese influence in international bodies including the World Health Organization
Oct 1, 2020

REPUBLICAN STUDY COMMITTEE RELEASES 

“AGENDA FOR BETTER AMERICAN HEALTH CARE”

 

WASHINGTON – Today, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) – the largest caucus of conservatives in the House of Representatives – released a health care agenda that builds on President Trump’s America-First Healthcare Plan and the RSC’s Framework for Personalized, Affordable CareThe agenda, led by RSC Chairman Mike Johnson (LA-04) and RSC Health Care Task Force Chairman Roger Marshall, M.D. (KS-01), highlights key issues such as increasing price transparency, encouraging innovation, and reducing regulatory burdens that Congress must address in future health care legislation.

 

“Health care remains one of the most pressing issues in our country, and Congress has a responsibility to enact reforms that will reduce costs, increase options, and raise the quality of care available to all Americans,” said Johnson. “The Left’s socialist health care agenda will not only maintain the bureaucratic, broken status quo of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), it will make the situation even worse. We are releasing our ‘Agenda for Better American Health Care’ to build on the President’s plan and the RSC’s previously published Framework for Personalized, Affordable Care to present what, as conservatives, we believe is the best path forward for a more effective, efficient and affordable health care system.”

 

“The Republican Party is committed to providing affordable and effective health care that works for all Americans. We need to increase patient choice and personalized care while modernizing our current system. Meanwhile, the Democrats want to double down and take more steps toward replacing our health system with ‘Medicare For All’,” said Marshall. “ Working alongside the White House and members of the Republican Study Committee, I am proud of the proposals we have put forth that protect pre-existing conditions, lower the cost of care, unleash innovation and puts patients first. Each American is unique and deserves health care that works for their specific needs. A one-size-fits-all approach will have lasting negative impacts on patients and the future for cures. As a physician, I know we can do better and I am unwavering in my dedication to put patients first.”

 

You can read the agenda here, and see a side by side comparison between the Republican Study Committee’s agenda and the Congressional Democrat’s agenda below.

Sep 22, 2020

JOHNSON, BARR UNVEIL AMERICAN WORKER TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS: 

RECLAIMING THE AMERICAN DREAM

100+ proposals to empower the workers of today and tomorrow

 

WASHINGTON – Today, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) – the largest caucus of conservatives in the House of Representatives – released Reclaiming the American Dream: Proposals to Empower the Workers of Today and Tomorrow (click here to view the full proposal). Spearheaded by RSC Chairman Mike Johnson (LA-04) and RSC American Worker Task Force (AWTF) Chairman Andy Barr (KY-06), the proposal is filled with 100+ conservative and solutions-oriented ideas to take a fresh, innovative, and comprehensive approach to lift up and empower America’s workers.

To achieve this goal, Congress must pass legislation that refines our education system to better equip the American worker; refocuses labor policy to unleash the American worker; and reimagines welfare to empower individuals & families. 

To view an execute summary of recommendations of Reclaiming the American Dreamclick here or scroll to the bottom of the page. 

“Congress has always had a duty to advance policies that empower hardworking Americans to achieve their goals, and that is especially true now in the wake of the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the recommendations in this report, we can make the rebuilding and recovery process even faster and stronger," said Johnson. “I thank my friend Rep. Barr for his leadership on this task force, and I hope to see these policies made into law so we can provide greater opportunity for more Americans than ever before."

“The report released today by the AWTF could not be a more timely endeavor as it provides a roadmap that will empower millions of Americans to reclaim his or her American dream,” said Barr.  “These proposals debunk the bachelors-or-bust mentality and would realign our education system to level the playing field and clear a path for innovative and in demand career opportunities.  Additionally, our report recognizes the dignity of work and reforms our failed welfare systems that currently leave generations of Americans in a cycle of government dependence.  Our nation is at a cross-roads and this pro-worker agenda that emphasizes the American work ethic and capitalist successes will propel us forward to economic stability and prosperity.  I want to thank RSC Chairman Johnson for selecting me to lead this Taskforce as well as all my colleagues who participated for their valued input.”

 

EXCUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Reclaiming the American Dream:

Proposals to Empower the Workers of Today and Tomorrow

 

Platform 1: Refine our Education System to Better Equip the American Worker

Roll back federal policies that have perpetuated today’s “Bachelor’s-or-Bust” mentality and create a framework that clears a path for innovative opportunities for tomorrow’s workers to seek employment in well-paying and in-demand industries. 

•Empower local educators and states to take control of education and expand choice for students and families by implementing legislation such as the A-PLUS Act and the Head Start Improvement Act.
•Curb the rising cost of tuition and lower student debt by reducing overall federal subsidies to higher education.
•Enact federal policies that encourage private lending, and the innovative models that would follow to enhance educational value. 

•Encourage appropriately priced remote instruction at higher education institutions. 

•Recalibrate federal student lending to ensure future employment outcomes are better incorporated into financial decisions. 

•Increase transparency and the information available to students to enable well-informed choices regarding college and field of study. 

•Encourage a strong connection between educators and employers to increase employment opportunities.
•Promote alternate pathways in education by leveling the playing field for Career and Technical Education in secondary and post-secondary education. 

•Encourage policies that allow employers to prioritize skills instead of degrees in hiring decisions. 

 

Platform 2: Refocus Labor Policy to Unleash the American Worker

Ensure every American can reach their potential by increasing and safe-guarding opportunities for workers to design careers that fit their needs, protecting workers’ rights, and providing additional opportunities for workers in their current positions.

•Increase apprenticeship opportunities by promoting and enhancing Industry-Recognized Apprenticeships (IRA).

•Increase employment opportunities by safe-guarding access to franchising and independent contracting, such as implementing the New GIG Act.

•Encourage policies that remove onerous barriers to licensed occupations.

•Promote worker growth with greater access to upskilling opportunities, flexible and rewarding compensation, and future savings.

•Reduce barriers that prevent workers from finding affordable, safe, and flexible child care options.

•Insulate remote work from undue tax burdens during the pandemic.

•Defend the right of American workers to choose how they want to be represented in workplace contract negotiations, protect those that stand up to corruption, and provide workers with relevant information related to union investments.

•Support ability of workers and employers to engage in alternative forms of labor management cooperation.

 

Platform 3: Reimagine Welfare to Empower Individuals & Families

Ensure welfare is used as a tool to lift people into meaningful and self-sustaining work while encouraging family formation and tackling the root causes of poverty. 

•Institute robust work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) and strong anti-fraud measures in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
•Implement reforms of the JOBS for Success Act to refocus Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to tackle the root causes of poverty, helping families achieve self-sustainability. 

•Reform housing assistance programs to eliminate duplication, create strong work incentives, encourage private investment and collaboration, and grant flexibility to focus on outcome-based approaches.
•Increase portability of housing benefits so workers can move to high-opportunity areas.
•Implement reforms of the Making DI Work for All Americans Act to modernize Social Security Disability Insurance’s (SSDI) work capability metrics and case handling. 

•Promote reforms to eliminate marriage penalties and policies that discourage family formation.
•Create robust verification and anti-fraud measures to ensure benefits go to those who earn them.
•Merge duplicative programs and grant more flexibility to local and state governments to pursue outcome-based approaches.