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Obscure federal agency pushing ‘equity’ under Biden elections order

By Stew Davidson
|
March 3, 2024

An obscure federal agency is expanding its role under a controversial Biden order, pushing "equity" in a move critics say oversteps traditional boundaries.

Under President Joe Biden's executive order, even lesser-known agencies like the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) are being mobilized to promote voter registration, with a particular focus on 'equity.' This directive, part of Executive Order 14019, aims to enhance voter participation but has sparked debate over the potential for government overreach and partisan manipulation, the Daily Signal reports.

Controversial push for voter engagement raises eyebrows

The RRB's strategic plan, unveiled through a Freedom of Information Act request by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, reveals intentions to distribute voting-related materials and direct people to Vote.gov. This effort is part of a broader push by the Biden administration to engage federal agencies in voter registration activities, raising questions about the appropriateness and implications of such involvement.

Despite the noble goal of increasing voter participation, the RRB's plans to act as a voter registration entity have been met with skepticism, particularly due to the agency's limited resources.

The strategic plan includes distributing flyers and posters and keeping metrics on website referrals to Vote.gov, raising concerns about the use of federal resources for potentially partisan purposes.

Elizabeth Mocek, a spokesperson for the RRB, emphasized the agency's commitment to promoting Vote.gov, including adding the website's link to RRB's website footer and creating handouts for distribution. However, these actions have led to criticism regarding the potential for federal agencies to influence electoral outcomes under the guise of enhancing voter access.

Submitted to Susan Rice, then an assistant to the president for domestic policy, the strategic plan underscores the RRB's role in advancing Biden's executive order. Critics argue that such involvement by federal agencies in electoral processes could infringe on laws like the Hatch Act, which restricts political activities by federal employees.

Biden's executive order stirs legal and ethical concerns

The emphasis on 'equity,' particularly for non-English speakers, is a significant element of the RRB's election plan.

Detractors argue that the Biden administration's focus on equity could lead to unequal treatment and prioritize certain voter groups over others.

The RRB's efforts to provide voting information in multiple languages and distribute promotional materials have been portrayed as part of a larger, potentially problematic trend of using federal resources to influence voter turnout. This has led to accusations of the administration leveraging government agencies for political gain.

The broader implications of federal agencies' involvement in voter registration and participation efforts under Biden's executive order have become a point of contention. Critics, including Republican lawmakers and watchdog groups, have expressed concerns about the potential for such activities to be used for partisan advantage.

Debate over federal involvement in elections intensifies

Roman Jankowski, from Heritage's Oversight Project, has voiced strong opposition to the Biden administration's use of federal agencies like the RRB for electoral purposes.

His comments reflect growing unease about the potential for such initiatives to undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

He said:

Biden’s potentially illegal election-interfering executive order is finally coming into fruition, and it’s scarier than we thought.

The use of an obscure agency like the RRB to promote voter registration under the banner of 'equity' has ignited a debate over the proper role of federal agencies in elections.

While the administration argues that these efforts are designed to make voting more accessible, critics contend that they represent an overstep of executive power and could have unintended partisan implications.

The controversy surrounding the Biden administration's mobilization of federal agencies for voter engagement underlines the delicate balance between promoting electoral participation and maintaining the nonpartisan integrity of federal institutions. The debate over this balance continues to unfold, with significant implications for the future of federal involvement in electoral processes.

Conclusion

  • The Biden administration's executive order has led to increased federal agency involvement in voter registration, focusing on 'equity.'
  • The Railroad Retirement Board's strategic plan, aimed at promoting voter engagement, has sparked concerns over potential government overreach and partisan influence.
  • Critics argue that the administration's efforts could conflict with laws like the Hatch Act and lead to prioritization of certain voter groups.
  • The debate over the appropriateness of federal agencies' roles in elections highlights broader concerns about executive power and electoral integrity.
  • The potential for legal challenges and further controversy underscores the contentious nature of the administration's voter engagement initiatives.