The Senate Rules Committee, led by Democratic chair Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, announced on Monday that the panel will head to Georgia next month to hold a hearing on the combustible issue of voting rights.
The hearing, to be held on July 19, will spotlight the controversial new voting law in Georgia, which Republicans praise as a measure to enhance election integrity and Democrats heavily criticize as tool of voter suppression.
According to a release from the Democratic controlled committee, witnesses at the hearing “will testify about recently enacted legislation to restrict voting in the state and the need for basic federal standards to protect the freedom to vote. Subsequent hearings on critical voting, campaign finance, and ethics reforms will be announced at a later date.”
And the release noted that the hearing will be the panel’s first out in the field in 20 years.
Georgia — along with two other battleground states, Florida and Arizona — is among the more than a dozen GOP controlled states that so far this year have passed into law new voting access rules in the wake of former President Trump’s repeated unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” and “stolen.”
The move by the Rules Committee comes less than a week after Republicans in the Senate – using a legislative filibuster – successfully downed the congressional Democrats sweeping election and campaign finance reform bill, which was a top item on their agenda and aimed to counter the new laws in red states.
The announcement by the committee also comes a few days after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department is filing a lawsuit challenging the new voting access rules included in the Georgia law. President Biden last month called the law an “atrocity.”
But Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s GOP secretary of state, predicted in an interview Monday on Fox News’ “America Reports” that “we’re looking forward to meeting them and beating them in court.”
“We’re battle-hardened, battle-tested,” Raffensperger told Fox News’ John Roberts. “We’ve won before. We’re going to win again.”