Despite President Donald Trump’s continued insistence that the 2016 Presidential election was rife with fraud, the House Administration Committee voted to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), an agency formed specifically to ensure the integrity of elections.

The vote came along party lines, with the six Republican members of the Congressional committee voting in favor of terminating the commission. The decision will shift the duties of the EAC to the Federal Election Commission.

The three Democrats on the committee opposed the decision. Congressman Robert Brady of Pennsylvania offered an amendment to reform the EAC while funding it through 2022, but the amendment was denied.

The proposal to do away with the commission committed to ensuring election integrity was opposed by 38 different organizations including the League of Women Voters, NAACP and Voting Rights Institute.

“The EAC serves every American voter by conducting research, collecting data and sharing information among elected officials, the public, and interested organizations,” a joint statement issued by the pro-democracy groups stated.

“In light of the many challenges faced by our state and local election administrators and the serious procedural problems that weaken voter access and participation, we believe that this is a time to reaffirm our commitment to voting rights and fair elections by strengthening the EAC and providing it with the staff it requires to function effectively.”

Democracy program director Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center, a nonpartisan law and policy institute, issued a similar statement that argued, “at a time when the vast majority of the country’s voting machines are outdated and in need of replacement, and after an election in which foreign criminals already tried to hack state voter registration systems, eliminating the EAC poses a risky and irresponsible threat to our election infrastructure.”

House Administration Committee chairman Gregg Harper, a Republican congressman from Mississippi, argued the EAC had outlived its purpose and was no longer needed. He said the commission’s testing and certification program for voting machines is “for the most part unused” and argued the EAC had “spent more than half its budget on overhead expenses” in recent years.

The EAC was first established in 2002 following the 2000 Presidential election that was plagued with problems. The commission’s mission was to upgrade voting technology and provide vital information to federal and state officials regarding elections.

"The House Committee’s decision to scrap the EAC is extremely unfortunate," Pippa Norris, the director of the Electoral Integrity Project, told International Business Times. She called its services "vital functions to protect the public confidence in the integrity of US elections."

"We have a urgent need to strengthen this independent body, not weaken or eliminate it and leave major challenges of electoral administration in the hands of partisan state legislators and officials," Norris explained.

Republicans have been pushing for the elimination of the commission since 2011, when Congress first passed a bill to end the EAC —an act also proposed by Congressman Harper.

The EAC lost its quorum of commissioners in 2010 and was unable to perform many of its duties until the U.S. Senate confirmed three new commissioners—two Republicans and one Democrat—in 2014.

The commission issued its annual report to Congress, in which it revealed 47 states relied on its voting machine certification process. The EAC was also directly responsible for printing and distributing materials for voters with disabilities, as well as overseeing the replacement of voting machines in Virginia in short order prior to the election.

“At a time when the Department of Homeland Security has designated election systems as part of the country’s critical infrastructure, election officials face cybersecurity threats, our nation’s voting machinery is aging and there are accusations of election irregularities, the EAC is the only federal agency bridging the gap between federal guidance and the needs of state and local election officials,” EAC Commission Chair Thomas Hicks said in a statement provided to International Business Times.

The decision to do away with the EAC has been on the radar of Republicans in congress for years, but comes at an odd time. President Trump has continued to question the integrity of the 2016 Presidential election and stated his belief that at least three million people voted illegally.

Trump has stood by those claims as recently as Sunday when he reiterated them in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. He has promised to convene an investigation into the election results, set to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence and said the commission was “going to look at it very, very carefully.”