CNN’s John Berman, Alisyn Camerota, and John Avlon on Thursday mocked Republican criticism of H.R. 1, or the For the People Act.
Avlon joined Berman and Camerota for his “Reality Check” segment on “New Day” and put up a defense of H.R. 1, including against the claim it was “written in hell.” (RELATED: Sen. John Barrasso Shares What He Thinks Is ‘Really Uniting’ Republicans)
“Ted Cruz calls it the universal fraud law. Mike Lee says it was written by the Devil. So why are these and other Republicans so scared of a bill that helps more eligible Americans vote?” Camerota began.
“So the Republican obsession with cancel culture is actually a bit ironic, because they’re busy trying to cancel your votes. More than 250 bills that would restrict voting are making their way through state legislatures. That’s seven times more than this time last year,” Avlon said. “And it’s mostly a reaction to the big lie about election fraud, part of this bizarro world where election integrity is a feel good way of saying voter suppression.”
He went on to describe various bills that have been proposed in different states, such as Arizona and Georgia, that are “a full court press to restrict voting.” He then played a video clip of one former Senate candidate in Delaware he described as “far right,” who said that Republicans wouldn’t “have a prayer in 2022 or 2024 if we do not get election reform” and that she only cares “about winning.”
“Yeah, not subtle … After the last four years we should all know that we can’t take our democracy for granted, and that’s why House Democrats just passed H.R. 1 … It’s got Senate Republicans reaching for the fire and brimstone,” Avlon continued, before playing a clip of Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee saying, “Everything about this bill is rotten to the core. This is a bill as if written in hell by the Devil himself.”
“Okay. That’s a little overheated, especially from a senator who once said we’re not a democracy,” Avlon said, laughing. “So, don’t get swayed by the literal demonization of the bill. Take a look what’s actually in it.”
He then described that the goal of the bill “is to expand access to voting and ensure that elections aren’t rigged by special interests.” He added that it would be done “through national standards” on things like voter registration, absentee balloting, redistricting, donor disclosure, among other things.
“This is ambitious stuff … But is it really that scary? Put all the partisan rhetoric aside and just ask yourself whether these provisions would make it easier or harder for every eligible citizen to vote? This isn’t complicated, but it is important, because strengthening democracy shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It’s an American responsibility,” Avlon concluded.
“Does the Devil use Microsoft Word or Google Docs when he’s writing legislation in hell? That’s what I want to know” Berman said to the laughter of his co-hosts, in reference to Lee’s claim about the bill.
The House passed H.R. 1 on Mar. 4 and will head to the Senate, where it is expected to face stiff Republican opposition. The bill is seen as a major overhaul with potential long-lasting effects. It largely takes away states’ powers when it comes to certain aspects of elections, including mandating allowing mail-in voting without demanding identification.