A key election security bill backed by both former President Trump and Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., advanced through a key hurdle on Thursday, moving it closer to a chamber-wide vote in the House of Representatives. 

The Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, introduced by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, passed the Committee on House Administration in a six-to-one vote. 

‘Preventing noncitizen voting and foreign influence in our elections is a critical component of restoring trust in our elections. I look forward to seeing these measures come to the Floor for consideration soon,’ committee Chairman Bryan Steil, R-Wis., said in a statement.

The legislation would require states to obtain documentary proof of citizenship in order for a person to register to vote in federal elections, while also mandating that they purge noncitizens from existing voter rolls. 

It would also empower citizens to bring civil lawsuits against election officials they believe are not enforcing or upholding the citizenship requirement.

Johnson first unveiled the bill during a press conference at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, alongside the former president.

He reiterated his support for it during another high-level media event at the U.S. Capitol just weeks later. Roy was in attendance along with the bill’s lead in the Senate, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, as well as former Trump administration officials Stephen Miller and Hogan Gidley.

‘Due to the wide open border that the Biden administration has refused to close, in fact, that they engineered to open, we now have so many non-citizens in the country that if only one out of 100 of those voted, they would cast hundreds of thousands of votes,’ Johnson said at the time.

The top Democrat on the Administration panel, Rep. Joe Morelle, D-N.Y., however, argued on Thursday that the bill was overly burdensome for voters.

‘The bill would create extreme documentary requirements nationwide, making it much, much, much harder to vote, burdening every potential voter and particularly affecting people who have difficulty obtaining the required documents, including married women who have changed their names, students on a college campus, the elderly, lower income people, members of tribal nations, naturalized citizens, and, yes, even Republicans,’ Morelle said. ‘If it were ever to become law, its provisions are so Draconian that it would surely disenfranchize millions of eligible Americans.’

But conservative groups have lined up in support of the bill, including Honest Elections Project Action – whose executive director, Jason Snead, said it would ‘promote election integrity.’

‘Requiring proof of citizenship to register and vote is a no-brainer policy for any democracy,’ Snead told Fox News Digital. ‘Americans deserve to know their elections are free of foreign influence.’


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