House Democrats overstepped their authority by asking state officials for information as part of an inquiry into allegations of voter suppression, top Republicans on the U.S. House’s investigatory committee said Monday.
The Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee voiced their objections Monday in a letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee chairman, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who chairs a subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties. The two Democrats sent letters to officials in Georgia, Texas and Kansas earlier this year asking for documents related to controversial election decisions in 2018.
“We have serious concerns that your letters appear to be an attempt to insert the Committee into particular state election proceedings, for which we do not see a legitimate legislative purpose,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the ranking member on the committee, wrote in a letter signed by three other Republicans. “By seeking voluminous records relating to election administration of sovereign states, your investigation offends state-federal comity. In fact, the respective states are already working to resolve any issues with their election administration.”…
The Republicans also wrote directly to the officials in the three states the committee is focused on and suggested the inquiry was not legitimate. One of the state officials, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), told the committee last week he was rebuffing the request for information. GOP Reps. Chip Roy (Texas), Jody Hice (Ga.) and Michael Cloud (Texas) also signed Jordan’s letter.
Raskin pushed back on the letter in a statement Monday evening, saying the committee had broad investigative power.
“The U.S. Congress has the power and obligation to enforce the voting rights of the people as spelled out in the 14th, 15th, 17th, 19th, and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, a power we have exercised repeatedly in statutes like the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Americans with Disabilities Act to shut down state action hostile to democratic participation,” he said in a statement.