As the House Prepares to Vote on the For the People Act, CLC President Trevor Potter Encourages Congress to Pass This Essential Democracy Reform Legislation
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will bring to the House floor the For the People Act, H.R. 1. The bill will help ensure all Americans have the right to vote, strengthen ethics laws, end partisan gerrymandering and decrease the influence of wealthy special interests in our political system. It is the most sweeping democracy reform the U.S. has seen in decades.
H.R. 1 would make our government more open, elections more fair and the ballot box more accessible. It includes provisions that ensure all voters can participate in at least 14 days of early voting, create independent redistricting commissions to draw voting maps, empower the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to enforce campaign finance laws and increase transparency in elections by closing dark money and digital ad transparency loopholes.
“Voters want and expect a democracy that’s open to the American people, and this landmark bill will make our government more accessible, transparent and responsive to citizens. At this critical moment for our democracy, the House and Senate should act now to pass the For the People Act, which has broad, bipartisan support from a clear majority of American voters,” said Trevor Potter, president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), and Republican former chairman of the FEC.
In February 2021, a Quinnipiac poll showed that 71% of Americans think that democracy in the U.S. is under threat. The reforms proposed in the For the People Act to address this threat earn resounding support from a majority of American voters across the political spectrum. A poll conducted by Data for Progress and Equal Citizens in late January found that 67% of Americans support H.R. 1, with 77% of Democrats, 68% of Independents and 55% of Republicans expressing their approval for the bill’s proposals.
Historically, when the country has confronted challenges to our democracy, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have come together to craft solutions. In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act with bipartisan support, which was subsequently renewed with broad bipartisan support for decades to come. In the 1970s, following the corruption revealed by the Watergate scandal, Democrats and Republicans worked together to reform campaign finance laws in the Federal Election Campaign Act. Wealthy special interests found loopholes in those laws during the 1980s and 1990s, so Congress responded in 2002 with the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. After the 2000 election revealed serious flaws in voting systems and processes, Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass the Help America Vote Act. When the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal exposed flaws in federal lobbying laws, Congress passed the bipartisan Honest Leadership and Open Government Act in 2007.
America’s democracy is once again in need of repair. Elected officials in Congress have repeatedly vowed to pursue reform and have the opportunity today to pass the For The People Act. Now is the time to address the most pressing challenges to our democracy by passing H.R. 1.