Trevor Potter, president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Republican former chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration in support of the For the People Act (S.1) on March 24, 2021.
The hearing on S.1, a sweeping legislative package that will crack down on political corruption in both parties and strengthen our democracy, took place over two panels. The first panel focused on voting rights and redistricting and the second on campaign finance and government ethics.
Potter testified during the second panel as an expert witness on campaign finance. During his testimony he focused on the bipartisan nature of S.1 and three critical components of the For the People Act:
- Overhauling the FEC, the only agency responsible for enforcing the laws that govern the U.S. campaign finance system for campaigns for president and Congress, by bringing the FEC’s structure more closely in line with other independent regulatory agencies like the Federal Communications Commission.
- Ending dark money in our elections by enacting transparency provisions to prevent wealthy special interests from secretly spending big money ($10,000 and up) to influence our vote and our government to rig the political system in their favor.
- Advancing ordinary Americans’ First Amendment rights to have their voices heard in political campaigns by enacting a small donor matching program for Senate and Presidential candidates that would amplify the voices of grassroots supporters.
Potter in his testimony stated:
“Historically when the country has confronted challenges to our democracy, Republicans and Democrats have come together to craft solutions. American democracy is again in need of repair, and I would hope that lawmakers from both parties can come together to enact needed reforms right now. The consequences of inaction are too great.”
CLC has fought for each of these reforms, along with many others in the For the People Act, to ensure that power is given back to regular voters by reducing the influence of wealthy donors and stopping extreme voter suppression.
Enacting S.1 would mark a major step toward achieving a democracy that is transparent, responsive and accountable to the American people.