Feb 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats weigh axing election deniers from bills

 Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, attends the inauguration before Joe Biden was sworn in
Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas). Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

Some House Democrats are seizing new ground in their protest against Republicans who challenged the 2020 election results, refusing to add them as sponsors of their bills and discussing removing their affiliation with past legislation now being refiled, Axios reports.

Why it matters: This legislative "deplatforming" undercuts the bipartisanship President Biden seeks for the next four years. It also could harm Democratic bills needing Republican support.

  • “I’m one of them,” Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said of the effort. “They still don’t get it, so I still won’t be co-sponsoring.”
  • One Republican criticized the approach. "Doesn't sound like unity to me," Rep. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) told Axios.

State of play: Some Democratic staff members are compiling a list of "untouchables" among the 211 GOP members in the House of Representatives. Among those who could face targeting are in these overlapping groups:

  • The 126 Republicans who signed on to a Texas lawsuit to challenge the election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • The 83 Republicans who voted to decertify the electoral count in Arizona.
  • The 64 Republicans who voted to decertify the count in Pennsylvania.

At least one staffer who works for one of the 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment told Axios their office has received an outsized number of requests from Democrats looking to pair up on possible legislation.

  • “Any of the 10 [who] voted for the impeachment, they’ve been getting a lot of requests to partner with Democrats as leads on those bills,” the staffer said.

The details: Several Democratic staffers said the legislative deplatforming idea is rooted in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • The topic has been broached during calls among staff directors and leadership.
  • These directors are now weighing how to handle potential Republican proposals submitted to other committees.
  • Some members have even floated the idea of rewriting bills that need to be reintroduced in the new 117th Congress, just so they can remove Republican lawmakers.

A Democratic aide said House leadership is not involved in any concerted effort. Some rank-and-file Democrats also do not support it.

  • Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said: "There might be some people like that, but we've got to get the work of the House done.”
  • Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) told Axios he will not be co-sponsoring legislation with Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) but won't subscribe to any broader deplatforming.
  • “I don’t like it but I've got to get my legislation passed,” he said.
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