Don’t Let “Fake News” Cloud Your Judgement on the “For the People Act” (HR 1)

Statement from Public Citizen

As Congress moves closer to adopting the sweeping campaign finance, ethics and election reforms contained in the “For the People Act” (HR 1 and S. 1), some congressional opponents – like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) – continue to cloak their opposition in confusing and misleading attacks on the legislation.

As reported in Roll Call on Feb. 25th, McConnell falsely asserted: 

“They want to mandate no-excuse mail-in balloting as a permanent norm, post-pandemic,” McConnell said. “And — I promise I am not making this up — their bill proposes to directly fund political campaigns with federal tax dollars.”

The small-donor financing system proposed in “For the People Act” does not tap into federal tax dollars to finance the clean elections program. The legislation calls for a funding mechanism that has proven highly successful in Arizona and poses no burden on the U.S. Treasury: a small levy is charged on certain civil and criminal penalties and settlements for violations paid by corporate interests. In effect, those who pay fines for violating the law will be funding clean elections.

It is important that the record be set straight so that the debate over the important reforms of the “For the People Act” is honest and accurate.