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Biden admin turning this federal agency into a Dem get-out-the-vote machine

OpinionBiden admin turning this federal agency into a Dem get-out-the-vote machine

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The Founding Fathers feared a system of government where the executive branch is able to wield the power of the federal bureaucracy to interfere with elections. Unfortunately, President Biden has directed every federal agency to do just that. 

As chairman of the Committee on Small Business, we have been investigating the electioneering efforts undertaken by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and what we have uncovered is already very troubling.

On March 19, 2024, the SBA announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Michigan Department of State (MDOS) to facilitate voter registration efforts ahead of the 2024 election cycle. 

President Biden

President Biden has directed every federal agency to wield the power of the federal bureaucracy to interfere with elections. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Given that small businesses continue to struggle under the weight of crippling inflation, high interest rates, and an acute labor shortage, the SBA diverting resources to assist a get-out-the-vote effort is extremely troubling. This alarming shift in focus raises serious questions about the agency’s priorities and its commitment to its core constituency: America’s small businesses.

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The SBA’s press release bragging about this first of its kind partnership with Michigan to register voters immediately raised red flags and led the committee to request the signed agreement. Since the agency was so proud to announce this MOU, we assumed that this request wouldn’t be met with much resistance. 

However, the SBA stonewalled turning over the document for months, dating back to the committee’s oversight hearing with Administrator Isabel Guzman on March 20, 2024. But as we were waiting to see what this new partnership entailed, the committee started to dig deeper into what the SBA has already been doing in Michigan. 

As a critical battleground state where Biden is facing challenges, the selection of Michigan for this effort already insinuated that this was politically motivated decision. If the agency was truly only interested in registering voters, Michigan is a very unusual choice. 

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With three-quarters of their state’s population already registered to vote, the third-highest percentage of registered voters in the entire country, there must be another reason for this first of its kind partnership. 

Curiously, the committee noticed that this agreement with MDOS was announced four days after the Biden re-election campaign reiterated its interest in Michigan and noted its “not taking a single voter for granted,” especially among key demographics of young and minority voters. 

As the committee continued to wait to receive the MOU from the SBA, we decided to look into the background of some of Biden’s political appointees who will be carrying out these orders. Within the SBA, Jennifer Kim, the associate administrator of the SBA Office of Field Operations is tasked with carrying out these voter registration efforts.

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In going to the SBA website to see Kim’s background, the agency fails to highlight any experience in helping small businesses. Instead, her biography on sba.gov says she has years of experience in “increasing voter registration in communities of color as well as promoting youth civic engagement.” Coincidentally, she also attended the University of Michigan. 

The diversion of taxpayer dollars and agency resources toward partisan activities like electioneering raises serious legal and ethical concerns. Just last week we held a hearing to discuss some of these conflicts of interest. 

One of the witnesses was Stewart Whitson, the senior director of federal affairs at the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA). The FGA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to enhance the lives of all Americans by improving welfare, workforce, health care, and election integrity policy at the state and federal levels. In his testimony, he summed up the concerns very eloquently: 

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“The worry is that this isn’t about registering small business owners across the state of Michigan, but rather, this is about using generous business startup and other grants to lure targeted groups of voters, those the Left believes are more likely to vote for the current president, to SBA’s website and to in-person outreach events hosted in Democratic strongholds, all to help register and mobilize these voters ahead of the 2024 election.

“In other words, this appears to be a get-out-the-vote effort aimed at directly benefiting the Biden campaign, at the expense of the American taxpayer and the small businesses the SBA is supposed to serve.”

The SBA’s actions set a dangerous precedent for executive overreach. The founding principles of federalism and separation of powers are under threat as the Biden administration seeks to consolidate control over elections. 

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The SBA should not be transformed into a campaign arm of the Biden administration while abandoning the needs of small businesses. This devastating deviation from their core purpose is not only a breach of their duty, but also a disservice to Main Street America, as they continue to struggle to survive in the face of economic turmoil. 

As chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, I will continue to demand answers throughout this investigation until the needs of Main Street are met and the agency intended to help them returns to carrying out their core mission.

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