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Politics

House committee votes to shut down the Election Assistance Commission

The Republican-led House Administration Committee voted Tuesday 6-3 to shutter the Election Assistance Commission, a bipartisan independent agency that assists states in improving their election systems.

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), the committee's chairman, said the commission has "outlived" its usefulness, USA Today reports, and it is time for it to be "officially ended" because "we don't need fluff." The agency was set up after the Al Gore/George W. Bush debacle in 2000, and Republicans have argued for some time that it was only supposed to be around temporarily. Democrats like Rep. Robert Brady of Pennsylvania disagree, arguing that it helps states run elections that are fair and accurate. "This is the time when we should be focusing on strengthening" the commission, he told USA Today.

This is the fourth time Harper has introduced a bill to eliminate the agency, and it's not clear when or if the measure will be considered by the House.