KEY POINTS

  • Coronavirus relief bill originally included $4 billion to fund mail-in voting
  • President Trump said that such voting changes would end the GOP
  • Speaker Pelosi has vowed to include these provisions in a future relief bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., vowed to push to include funding for states to expand their mail-in voting systems in the next coronavirus stimulus bill. President Donald Trump, however, has candidly stated that such a move would spell disaster for Republicans and that he would resist mail-in ballot initiatives.

Appearing on MSNBC Tuesday morning, Pelosi said that such a shift in how elections are conducted is unavoidable and is just “a reality of life” under the coronavirus pandemic. Provisions to allocate $4 billion to states to fund mail-in voting had originally been included in the draft of the recently passed relief bill, but were almost entirely nixed. Even still, Pelosi believes it is crucial to have such measures included in a future coronavirus bill.

Trump weighed in on the potential move to mail-in ballots by November during an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” this week, referring to the provisions as “totally crazy.” In addition to the $4 billion, they included requirements that all voters be allowed to register online and to vote at least 15 days early.

“They had things in there about election days and what you do and all sorts of drawbacks. They had things that were just totally crazy,” Trump said.

Perhaps most stunning was his admission that these changes would boost voter turn out, ultimately hurting Republicans at the ballot box. “The things they had in there were crazy. They had things, levels of voting that if you ever agreed to, you would never have a Republican elected in this country again,” Trump said.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif, who headed up the charge to add mail-in voting provisions to the coronavirus relief bill, blasted Trump’s remarks.

“The President says that if we make it easier to vote, Republicans will lose elections … this is morally bankrupt and a monstrous example of putting party ahead of America,” Lofgren said in a statement. “Every American, regardless of party affiliation, should condemn the President’s apparent belief that it’s a good thing for American voters to risk their lives when safer voting alternatives are possible.”

In the final coronavirus relief bill, $400 million was set aside to help states adjust their voting systems, though there are no provisions on how the money should be used or what changes should be made.