Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 9, 2024

Biden Agency Faces Subpoenas Amid Concerns Over Voter Registration Efforts

A Fox News report revealed that the House Committee on Small Business has issued subpoenas to senior Small Business Administration officials (SBA) officials. This action raises concerns about the potential misuse of federal resources for voter registration activities in Michigan.

The subpoenas target SBA Chief of Staff Arthur Plews and Special Adviser Tyler Robinson following their non-compliance with the committee's request for interviews and documentation.

This enforcement marks a notable first for Chairman Roger Williams. It represents the committee's first subpoena to the SBA and its first in over a decade. The House committee accuses the SBA of lacking transparency in its collaborations aimed at boosting voter registration in Michigan, raising questions about the constitutional and political implications of its efforts.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed in March between the SBA and the Michigan Department of State, the aim was to enhance civic engagement and ensure more residents are registered to vote, a program set to continue through January 1, 2036. SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman highlighted that this initiative would aid Michigan's small business community by linking them with vital voter registration information.

Concerns Over Partisan Use of Federal Resources

The initiative, triggered by a 2021 executive order from President Biden to improve voting access, has sparked controversy. According to the committee, the SBA has avoided voluntary cooperation, leading to the issuance of subpoenas to force transparency and accountability.

The partnership included the Michigan Department of State creating a unique URL for the SBA, directing visitors to voter registration pages, and facilitating in-person registration at SBA events. The Biden administration has viewed this as crucial, especially considering President Biden's narrow victory in Michigan during the 2020 election.

Investigations into the voter outreach efforts show a concentration in counties with significant populations of Democratic target demographics, including young and Black voters, leading to higher registration rates in these areas.

Official Statements Highlight Broader Election Concerns

Chairman Roger Williams expressed his disappointment at having to resort to subpoenas to obtain cooperation from the SBA, stressing the importance of transparency and the American public’s right to understand the SBA's role in upcoming federal elections. His concerns about the potential unconstitutional nature of these activities were echoed throughout his communications.

Rep. Dan Meuser criticized the SBA's memorandum of understanding with Michigan as a clear misuse of administrative power and a direct effort to support Democratic electoral gains, particularly focusing on urban areas like Detroit.

Jason Snead from the Honest Elections Project backed the investigation, pointing out the problematic nature of federal agencies potentially being used for political gains. His concerns align with recent critiques from other states like Mississippi, where similar federal efforts to engage voters, including in prisons, have been criticized.

Chairman Williams and other critics argue that federal agencies, like the SBA, should not serve as extensions of a presidential campaign. This situation underscores a broader debate about the role of federal resources in electoral politics, reflecting deep divisions about how voter registration initiatives should be handled and by whom.


The House Committee on Small Business has issued subpoenas to top SBA officials over concerns of misusing federal resources for voter registration drives in Michigan. This effort stems from President Biden's executive order to enhance voting access.

The subpoenas, a first in over a decade for the committee, target the SBA Chief of Staff and Special Adviser, who has been uncooperative in providing necessary documents and interviews. This initiative has been criticized for possibly benefitting Democratic areas, raising significant transparency and constitutional issues, and prompting demands for greater accountability in federal agencies' electoral activities.

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About Ashton Snyder

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