Would you like to have seven extra paid holidays? If a recently introduced bill were to become law, this could happen for federal workers.
What’s the catch? You would have to spend 6 of those days working at polling places providing “election administration assistance to a State or unit of local government” for “any election for public office.” The other day, however, would just be a new federal holiday granted to federal employees for election day.
The bill is known as the For the People Act of 2019 (H.R. 1) and was introduced by Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD). The holidays for federal employees are just a small part of the lengthy legislation which covers a myriad of items such as campaign finance, voter registration, and election security to name a few.
The bill is being pitched by Sarbanes as a measure “to clean up the chaos and corruption Washington.”
“The bold, transformative set of reforms that we introduced today will strengthen our democracy and return political power to the people by making it easier, not harder, to vote, ending the dominance of big money in our politics and ensuring that public officials actually serve the public,” said Sarbanes.
The bill has recently gained notoriety because of criticism from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). He called the bill this week a “power grab” and said that Democrats “want taxpayers on the hook for generous new benefits for federal bureaucrats and government employees” in reference to the new holidays the bill would give to the federal workforce.
H.R. 1 is the far left’s sprawling effort to seize more control of the political process. It’s an attempt to rewrite the rules of American politics to benefit the Democrats and their friends. pic.twitter.com/tztygT3YPS
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 29, 2019
Democrats’ H.R. 1 (the Democrat Politician Protection Act) proposes a massive federal takeover of elections. But neither the facts nor the opinions of American voters show any evidence of a crisis or emergency that would make this unprecedented step necessary.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 31, 2019
McConnell’s comments led to no shortage of responses critical of his position. These are just a few of the types of responses tweeted in response to McConnell.
Voting is a power grab. By citizens. https://t.co/3DwKc3htjv
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 30, 2019
I’m sort of happy that McConnell fears making election day a federal holiday. It’s such a frank acknowledgement that the GOP’s ideas are not accepted by the majority of American voters.
Any party that is scared of people exercising the right to vote, will eventually be doomed. https://t.co/Sle8vAhloq
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 31, 2019
What exactly does @senatemajldr Mitch McConnell have against more Americans voting? Of course Congress should make it easier for Americans to vote on Election Day. And we need a constitutional amendment establishing a nationally recognized right to vote. https://t.co/0pqGVBAKPB
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 30, 2019
Mitch McConnell doesn’t want:
– big money out of politics
– to protect our national sovereignty
– you to vote https://t.co/SyHQ8pSeRH
— Matt Cartwright (@RepCartwright) January 31, 2019
Should federal employees get additional holidays for elections? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.