A new session of Congress kicked off with the introduction of For The People Act (H.R.1), a landmark bill designed to fix our broken political system, including campaign finance, voting rights, and public accountability. The bill was introduced on January 4th by Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland and co-sponsored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California.
“Across the country, people of all political persuasions – including Democrats, Independents and Republicans – are profoundly frustrated with the chaos, corruption and inaction that plague much of our politics,” the lawmakers said. “H.R. 1 will protect the right to vote, ensure the integrity of our elections, hold elected officials accountable and end the era of big, dark, special-interest money in our politics.”
The For The People Act seeks to combat some of the greatest challenges facing our democracy though a host of groundbreaking measures:
- It proposes a voluntary public campaign financing system for congressional campaigns, matching donations under $200 at a ratio of 6:1.
- It calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United and stamp big money out of politics for good.
- It requires super PACs and dark money organizations to disclose their donors.
- It seeks to establish national automatic voter registration, make Election Day a federal holiday, create independent commissions to draw electoral districts and curb partisan gerrymandering, and limit efforts to purge voting rolls.
The For the People Act is needed now more than ever before. Campaign spending in 2020 doubled the record spent in 2016 at a whopping $14 billion. President-elect Biden’s campaign raised a whopping $1 billion, the first presidential campaign in history to do so without self-funding. Nine of the ten most expensive Senate races in history took place in 2020 (and this doesn’t even include the runoffs in Georgia). Dark money spending reached an all-time high of $3.2 billion.
Enough is enough. We fully support the For The People Act as a way to get big money OUT of our elections and voters IN!