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The House Oversight and Accountability Committee is probing a controversial Biden administration executive order tasking the federal government with mobilizing voting groups it says are underrepresented.

In a letter obtained by RealClearPolitics, Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., has requested that Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young produce a slew of documents and information concerning the development and implementation of President Joe Biden’s sweeping “Executive Order on Promoting Accessing to Voting” no later than May 28 and a staff-level briefing by May 20.

The demand by the chairman of the House Oversight Committee signals an escalation in Republican lawmakers’ efforts to combat an effort they say may be unlawful, if not unconstitutional.

The administration characterizes its efforts as a remedy to “discriminatory policies and other obstacles … disproportionally affect[ing]” black, non-English-speaking, handicapped, and other minority voters. Executive Order 14019 calls on all federal agencies to develop and execute corrective plans to “promote voter registration and voter participation.”

It instructs officials government-wide to consider “soliciting and facilitating approved, nonpartisan third-party organizations … to provide voter registration services on agency premises.”

Seeing the order as potentially enabling “the executive branch to circumvent the legislative process,” Comer is asking Young to clarify the “constitutional or statutory authority the President relied on,” as well as all “White House and OMB documents and communications” pertaining to the drafting of it.

In past oversight letters, including ones delivered in June 2022 by then-ranking Republicans on various committees, including Comer, members have also raised concerns that officials could violate the Hatch Act prohibiting their engagement in political activities in carrying out the order.

Senate Republicans have also questioned whether the act violates the Antideficiency Act, which precludes federal agencies from using funds “for a purpose that Congress did not explicitly authorize,” namely “voter mobilization.”

“Overreach by the federal government often leads to confusion and inconsistencies,” Comer also stated. He cites a recent letter from Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson to Attorney General Merrick Garland to illustrate this issue.

The order mandates that relevant agencies seek to ensure “access to voter registration for eligible individuals in federal custody.”

To satisfy that charge, the Magnolia State official notes that the U.S. Marshals Service is modifying contracts and/or intergovernmental agreements with jails “to provide voter registration materials and facilitate voting by mail,” and likewise that the Justice Department is working to “facilitate voter registration and mail voting for individuals in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.”

He says these efforts create “numerous opportunities for ineligible prisoners to be registered to vote in Mississippi.” Illegal aliens, Watson warns, may be among those receiving information on how to register to vote.

The Biden administration issued Executive Order 14019 in March 2021. Despite a raft of oversight requests from House Republicans of agencies within their respective committee jurisdictions, those agencies have largely withheld the strategic plans they were tasked with crafting and implementing, and information regarding the putatively nonpartisan groups with which they have coordinated.

The White House has rebuffed RealClearInvestigations in its efforts to solicit details about an order that Republicans characterize as little more than a taxpayer-funded Democrat get-out-the-vote effort.

As RealClearInvestigations has previously reported, the Biden administration has sought to drive voter registration through agencies as diverse as the departments of Labor and Housing and Urban Development via job training centers, public housing authorities, and child nutrition programs. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued guidance calling for the agency to register voters at naturalization ceremonies.

The Department of Education has blessed the use of “federal work-study funds to pay students for “supporting broad-based get-out-the-vote activities, voter registration,” and other activities.

In January, over two dozen Pennsylvania legislators filed a federal lawsuit challenging the executive order. The Foundation for Government Accountability—which has litigated with the Biden administration to pry loose documents concerning the order—submitted an amicus brief supportive of the suit, asserting that the agencies’ efforts have one thing in common: “They provide government welfare benefits and other services to groups of voters the vast majority of which have historically voted Democrat.”

Republicans’ concerns over the order extend to the involvement of the third-party groups with which agencies were to consider coordinating. The order itself was built on a blueprint from progressive think-tank Democrats. In a since-deleted but still archived analysis, the outfit estimates that if fully implemented, the order could generate 3.5 million new or updated voter registrations annually—a significant figure given that recent presidential elections have been determined by thousands of votes across a few states.

Democrats as well as the American Civil Liberties Union have reportedly worked to implement the directive. Documents obtained by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project and released earlier this month show that at a July 2021 listening session convened by the Biden administration, left-leaning activist groups encouraged some of the practices federal agencies would ultimately implement to carry out the directive, for example, in targeting prospective voters in prisons and at naturalization ceremonies. (The Daily Signal was foundation by The Heritage Foundation in 2014.)

“Every participant whose party affiliation or political donation history could be identified by the Oversight Project was identified as a Democrat except for one Green Party member,” the report noted.

While the participants suggested efforts to target constituencies—including criminals, immigrants, low-income families, including those in public housing, and Native Americansthe Oversight Project observed that “There is no corresponding evidence of efforts [to] increase voter access and education in likely Republican constituencies.”

As RealClearInvestigations has also recently reported, Democrats have made purportedly nonpartisan voter registration targeting groups that vote disproportionately Democrat a linchpin of their plans to prevail in recent election cycles.

“If the Biden Administration wants to use taxpayer-funded buildings to allow ‘nonpartisan third-party organizations’ to engage in voter registration,” Comer writes, “then the American people deserve to know who these organizations are.”

The Oversight Committee’s pursuit of information regarding the order comes in the wake of the House Small Business Committee’s recent escalation of its own probe of the order.

It recently subpoenaed two members of the Small Business Administration who refused to sit for transcribed interviews regarding an unprecedented partnership the agency inked with the Michigan Department of State. Under the relevant memorandum of understanding, among other things, state officials may conduct in-person voter registration at administration small business outreach events.

Fox News reported that the Small Business Committee found that nearly all, “22 out of 25 such outreach events, have taken place in counties with the highest population of Democratic National Committee target demographics.”

In March, a federal judge dismissed the Pennsylvania legislators’ case challenging the executive order on grounds of standing.

In late April, the legislators took their case to the Supreme Court, filing a petition for writ of certiorari and motioning for expedited consideration of their request in hopes the nation’s highest court will rule favorably on the matter of standing prior to the 2024 election.

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.