House Republicans Want to Slash Election Funding in New Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republicans introduced a budget bill this week for fiscal year 2025 that would greatly reduce federal funding for election security and administration.

The U.S. House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee discussed the proposed budget cuts during a June 5 hearing to consider the full FY 2025 budget bill. After a spirited debate, the Republican majority voted to advance it to the full appropriations committee.

According to the bill summary, Republicans propose allocating $20 million to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission — significantly less than the $134 million President Joe Biden requested in his FY 2025 budget proposal and $7.7 million below the current budget. 

Also, the proposed budget would reject Biden’s request for $96 million in Election Security grants for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

The commission, which was created under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, is independent and bipartisan, focused on “help[ing] election officials improve the administration of elections and help[ing] Americans participate in the voting process,” including adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, serving as the ultimate resource for election administration information, certifying voting systems and maintaining the national mail voter registration form.

In an EAC budget justification report, the commission said it would use the additional money to award grants to states and local governments for projects that improve election administration. Those grants would be used for efforts to enhance cybersecurity and audits, strengthen the security of election officials and boost accessibility for voters.

Ranking Member Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said that cutting money from this agency will “make our elections less secure and less transparent.”

In the bill summary, Republicans defended the proposed cuts, arguing their budget “exercises much-needed oversight” of D.C. in many ways, including prohibiting noncitizens from voting in local elections.

Under D.C. law, all residents over the age of 18 who have lived in the district for 30 days are allowed to vote in local elections, regardless of their immigration status. 

Congressional Republicans pushed multiple bills in an attempt to overturn that law, as part of a larger agenda to stop noncitizens from voting. Despite the District’s autonomy over its own local government, Congress has ultimate authority over how it passes laws and its budget.

That’s also how Republicans can mandate in the budget proposal that D.C. will not be allowed to use any funds to implement the noncitizen voting law or for “any activities related to enrolling or registering noncitizens into voter rolls for local elections.”

During Wednesday’s markup session, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) said, “the continued security of our federal elections is…promoted by prohibiting non-citizens from voting.” Overall, he says this bill “prevents President Biden from imposing a radical progressive agenda on the American people.”

This bill would still have to be advanced by the full appropriations committee and then passed by the House of Representatives to move forward in the budget process.

Read the budget bill here.