Ahead of tonight’s vote on H.R. 1, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) affirmed her support for the package of much-needed election reforms to strengthen American democracy. The For the People Act boldly expands campaign finance laws and improves access to the ballot box. Pingree was an original cosponsor of the For the People Act in both the 116th and 117th Congress.
“Our elections have been upended by unprecedented dark money spending and scores of voter suppression laws that have exposed the existing cracks in our fragile democracy. Too many voices are being drowned out by powerful interests. We have a clear mandate to strengthen our democratic institutions, starting by cleaning up our elections,” said Pingree. “I’m a proud cosponsor of H.R. 1 because the power should be in the hands of the American people. I am thrilled to see these election reforms before the House today, but we must remain vigilant and tear down all barriers to the ballot box. With so many new suppression laws on the horizon, the Senate must pass this essential legislation without delay.”
The For the People Act includes several reforms that will limit the power of big money in politics, make our elections more transparent, and make government accountable and accessible. Highlights from H.R. 1 include:
Campaign Finance Reform: Ending the dominance of big money in politics –ending the dominance of big money in our political system by requiring transparent disclosure of big-money contributors and special interests; creating a powerful matching system for small donations that amplifies citizens’ voices in politics and breaks the special interest stranglehold on Congress; pushing back on Citizens United ; and strengthening oversight of campaign finance by tightening rules on super PACs, empowering the Federal Election Commission’s enforcement abilities, and repealing GOP rules that prevent government agencies from requiring commonsense disclosure of political spending.
Restoring Our Democracy: Ensuring clean and fair elections – improving access to the ballot box by combatting institutional barriers to voting, creating nationwide automatic voter registration, ensuring that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full rights restored, expanding early voting and absentee voting, and modernizing the U.S. voting system; by building the constitutional record necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act; and by prohibiting voter roll purges and ending partisan gerrymandering. H.R.1 also protects our election systems from attack by enhancing federal support for voting system security, increasing oversight over vendors and developing a national strategy to protect our democratic institutions.
Ethics and Accountability: Ensuring public officials work for the public interest – breaking the influence economy in Washington and increasing accountability by expanding conflict of interest law and divestment requirements, slowing the revolving door, preventing Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards and requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns. H.R.1 also strengthens ethics enforcement by closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents, empowering watchdogs, overhauling the Office of Government Ethics and creating a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
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