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Public Statements

Terminating Presidential Election Campaign Fund and Election Assistance Commission

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, yesterday the House passed H.R. 3463, a bill terminating the Election Assistance Commission and the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. I voted ``no''.

* I also opposed the House-passed legislation in January to eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (H.R. 359), as well as the previously unsuccessful attempt in June to pass a bill eliminating the Election Assistance Commission (H.R. 672). H.R. 3463 combined these previously considered bills to pay for the cost of the two bills the House considered yesterday and today (H.R. 527 and H.R. 3010). I also voted against those bills because they reduce the ability of federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to implement regulations to protect public health, workers, and the environment.

* The Election Assistance Commission was established in 2002 as part of the Help America Vote Act. That legislation was enacted because of the widespread irregularities and controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential elections. The commission's immediate role was to oversee payments to states to help them replace punch card and lever voting systems and to develop statewide voter databases. The commission also operates a federal voting system testing and certification program and maintains an election administration information clearinghouse. State and local governments rely on the services provided by the Commission. One year before another presidential election, now is not the time to eliminate the Commission.

* The Presidential Campaign Fund was created to establish a system and spending limits for publicly financed presidential elections, providing opportunities for greater competition and transparency. The law that created the Fund in 1972 clearly needs some updating, but it should not be repealed.

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