By Matt Leob
The House on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have dismantled the Election Assistance Commission and transferred its functions to the Federal Election Commission.
Rep. Gregg Harper (R) sponsored the legislation. The bill required a two-thirds majority for passage, but fell short of that mark.
Harper's Election Support Consolidation and Efficiency Act would have granted the FEC federal voting oversight, a function currently under EAC jurisdiction. The bill would have also given the FEC authority to recommend voting system software and hardware for federal elections.
"Today’s failure to pass a simple bill eliminating the Election Assistance Commission, an agency that has long outlived its purpose and recklessly mismanages its resources, is frankly an insult to struggling taxpayers across the country," Harper said in a statement.
Campaign finance reform proponents opposed the measure, given the FEC's dysfunction in recent years. Heralding the bill's defeat, the Campaign Legal Center said the FEC is "without question one of the most dysfunctional agencies in the federal government."
More responsibility in the FEC’s hands would simply mean more deadlocks and even fewer laws enforced, Renata Strause wrote on the CLC website.