GOP Sen. Mike Lee Describes HR 1, Bill to Expand Voting Rights, as Written by 'Devil Himself'

Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, came out staunchly against Democrats' push to pass HR 1, the For the People Act to expand voting rights, saying that the legislation was written by the "Devil himself."

Democrats and voting rights activists argue that the For the People Act is vital to combat voter suppression, particularly of minorities. But Republicans see the bill as unconstitutional and giving too much power to the federal government to manage elections nationwide.

The legislation was passed through the House of Representatives last week on a party-line vote, but it faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

"I think I disagree with every single word in HR 1, including the words 'but,' 'and' and 'the,'" Lee said during a Wednesday interview with Fox News' morning show Fox & Friends. "Everything about this bill is rotten to the core. This is a bill as if written in hell by the Devil himself."

Mike Lee
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) described the For the People Act as "rotten to the core." In this photo, Lee speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on November 17, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Bill Clark-Pool/Getty

Lee complained that the bill shifts the decision-making about elections from states and redirects them to the federal government. "It takes them away from the states. Makes them right here in Washington, D.C. by Congress."

The GOP senator said the intention was to "ensure an institutional revolutionary Democratic Party of sorts, one that can remain in power for many decades to come."

Newsweek reached out to Lee's press representatives for further comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

The goals of the For the People Act include putting an end to partisan gerrymandering, modernizing voter registration, shoring up election security, enforcing campaign finance laws, strengthening campaign contribution limits, and improving access to the ballot and simplifying mail-in voting. It would also grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and expand voting rights in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

"This landmark legislation is urgently needed to protect that right, to safeguard the integrity of our elections, and to repair and strengthen our democracy. It will rein in the outrageous gerrymandering that distorts our democracy. It will empower the Justice Department to crack down on laws that curtail voting rights along racial lines. It will reform our campaign finance system to amplify the voices of the people — not the powerful. And it will modernize and secure our future elections against all manner of threats," President Joe Biden said following the passage of the legislation in the House of Representatives.

Despite the opposition of Lee and other Republicans in Congress, a recent poll shows that the majority of Republicans, independents and Democrats approve of the bill. The recent survey by Data for Progress showed that 68 percent of voters approved of the bill's passage overall—including 70 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independent or third-party voters, and 57 percent of Republicans.

Notably, Lee previously drew criticism after he argued last October that the U.S. is "not a democracy."

"We're not a democracy," Lee wrote in an October 7 tweet.

"Democracy isn't the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity [sic] are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that," he wrote the next day on Twitter.

Some Republicans continue to warn against "massive fraud" due to mail-in voting, which fueled the so-called "Big Lie" that former President Donald Trump actually won the election and not Biden. Prior to the 2020 contest, multiple studies and analyses showed that voter fraud is incredibly rare in U.S. elections. Numerous state and federal courts, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security all concluded that there was no evidence of fraud that would have changed the 2020 election's outcome.