House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) is being criticized and mocked after posting a tweet insisting Americans should be "outraged" by the Democrats' voting rights bill that passed the House Wednesday night by a slim 220-210 margin. His tweet caused "outraged" to trend on social media.
The bill, HR1, protects and expands the right to vote and has been met with fear-mongering, lies, and twisted "facts" from the right. Republicans know the more Americans vote, the less likely GOP candidates are to win elections, as an RNC attorney told the Supreme Court this week.
Among those twisted facts are the ones Rep. Scalise included in his tweet:
Every single American should be OUTRAGED by this:
Democrats just voted to ban voter ID nationwide and force every state to permanently expand mail-in voting. — Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 4, 2021
Based on a February 3 reports by the fact-checkers at Politifact, Scalise is wrong.
HR1, also known as the For the People Act, does not ban photo ID nationwide, nor does it force every state to permanently expand mail-in voting – although voting rights experts agree it should do both.
"The legislation doesn't expressly ban voter ID, but it does include a work-around for voters that already exists in some states," Poilitfact reports, adding that it does call voter ID laws "excessively onerous."
"The bill says that if a state has a requirement for an individual to present an ID to cast a ballot, the state shall permit the individual to present to election officials a sworn written statement under penalty of perjury attesting to the individual's identity and that they are eligible to vote," which "is actually a common practice used in several states," according to David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research.
On Scalise's claim HR1 forces "every state to permanently expand mail-in voting," that too is false.
"The bill does not mandate voting by mail, but it aims to make it easier for voters to cast ballots by mail if they wish."
"For example, the bill says that states can't require a voter to provide an ID to vote by mail or require notarization or witnesses of voters' signatures to cast an absentee ballot. But states can still set some rules, such as deadlines to request a ballot."
Scalise is spreading dangerous disinformation – which, given the grave threats on the nation's Capitol today that are forcing Congress to not meet out of caution over potential deadly violence, is even more dangerous that he is choosing to do this now.
But it's important to note that many assumed his characterizations of the For the People Act were accurate – and want them to be included in the legislation, showing just how outside the mainstream Scalise's views are.
Here's what some are saying in response to his tweet:
you're a liar, steve-o
— Luke Zaleski (@ZaleskiLuke) March 4, 2021
Getting tired of politicians telling me what I should be OUTRAGED by. I can figure that out on my own. And I'll tell you what I'm OUTRAGED by. The events of January 6, 2021 and the Capitol Insurrection. I'm OUTRAGED by the insurrectionists & those who provided them with support. https://t.co/g2sjnzzPc2
— Colin P. Clarke (@ColinPClarke) March 4, 2021
A politician who told voters he was "David Duke without the baggage" is OUTRAGED by a new Voting Rights Act?
Wow, that's a shocker. https://t.co/HgJRYMvoOo — Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) March 4, 2021
Steve Scalise is OUTRAGED by democracy. The GOP is literally trying to CANCEL our Democracy.#CancelCulture
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) March 4, 2021
Be outraged that GA Republicans want to make voters wait for hours while also making it criminal to hand them water while they're in line.
Be outraged that that Texas Republicans will accept your gun license but not a student ID to vote. The Senate must #PassHR1 — Chris Hahn (@ChristopherHahn) March 4, 2021
I agree every American should be OUTRAGED at your tweet. The GOP can't win unless they cheat.
— Guess I am just a UFO (@putmygamefaceon) March 4, 2021
Being able to vote is a citizen's right and should be easy to do. Why does Steve Scalise want voting to be difficult for some people? We should be outraged by voter suppression NOT by helping citizens to be able to vote. pic.twitter.com/QQxIjkWjbg
— Jane (@JaneVoter2018) March 4, 2021
OUTRAGED? By expanding the opportunity for citizens to cast lawful ballots? https://t.co/WeZbcJ8l8O
— Davع (@dave_et_al) March 4, 2021
What folks should actually be outraged about is every House Republican voting against covid relief and survival checks. https://t.co/CJysyYgXal
— Thomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) March 4, 2021
Let me fix this for you: Every single white, racist, fragile af American is probably OUTRAGED by this. https://t.co/O8VMVekB9E
— Helen (@luvtheusa76) March 4, 2021
Every American should be OUTRAGED over this. Why aren't you? pic.twitter.com/jZsS4Q2Esw
— dfrntdrmmr (@dfrntdrmmr) March 4, 2021
I am absolutely OUTRAGED by that..
By the fact that it wasn't a unanimously approved to make it easier for EVERY AMERICAN to vote. https://t.co/bqkiG4HRvG — Shannon in Ohio 4 (@ShannonFreshour) March 4, 2021
Every single Aerican is outraged at YOU. You want to prevent people from voting. "Voter ID" is a barrier, and you know it; ballots are completely identified and crosschecked with bar codes. Mail-in voting is completely safe. You know that too. Stop trying to harm America.
— Dr. Ohm 🇺🇲 (@HereToRebuild) March 4, 2021
Why would I be offended by being able to vote by mail? I don't want to stand in line with hundreds of other people for hours ... in the middle of a pandemic.
I'm outraged that you want us to stand in long voter lines. — Michael J. Stern (@MichaelJStern1) March 4, 2021
OMG, making voting easier and more accessible, what the hell kind of democracy does THAT? GTFOH, Steve.
— Egalitarian ✨ #Biden/Harris 2020 🇺🇸 (@oregonvirginia) March 4, 2021
Only people who hate American democracy are outraged by this.
— Darby Schnarfus (@tokenliberal) March 4, 2021