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H.R.1. Marks a New Era in Congress

Newly in the majority, U.S. House Democrats have made their stance abundantly clear — fighting corruption and protecting democracy is priority number one. Their inaugural bill is far-reaching, tackling reforms aimed at our elections, the campaign finance system, as well as ethics and lobbying all in the same piece of legislation. H.R. 1, dubbed the “For the People Act,” is the most sweeping and comprehensive anti-corruption bill of the last 50 years. It is a legislative antidote to many of the problems associated with the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United decision and increased attempts at voter suppression

Passing this bill in the House is an important and necessary first step to set the stage for its implementation in the future and for building the public demand for anti-corruption legislation as a whole. It is truly remarkable to see so many transformative policies in one bill, and to see the overwhelming support for that bill inside and outside of DC.

The bill would:

  • Restructure campaign finance by creating small-donor funding for our elections, instituting a public financing system where federal funds will match small donations at a rate of 6 to 1, and ending secret political contributions—“dark money”– by forcing disclosure of all major election-related funders such as 501(c)(4) organizations. It would also require tech companies to disclose large campaign advertisement purchases and block ad buys by foreign entities.
  • Expand and protect voting rights by enacting automatic voter registration, making Election Day a federal holiday, and ending certain felons’ voting disenfranchisement upon release. Provisions of H.R.1 would also bring an end to congressional district gerrymandering by instituting nonpartisan state-level redistricting commissions for House elections.
  • Restore ethics and transparency in government by requiring presidential candidates to release 10 years of tax returns, prohibiting House members from serving on corporate boards, creating a code of ethics for the U.S. Supreme Court, and expanding foreign and domestic lobbyist registration and reporting laws.

Strengthening our democracy and fighting corruption have long been priorities of Public Citizen and for that reason we are proud to endorse the “For the People Act.” But we need YOUR help to pass this bill!  H.R. 1 currently has the endorsement of 225 House members and the number is growing every day In order to win these democracy reforms in the long run, we need to make sure your U.S. Representative is on the list. Please call your member of Congress and ask her or him to support H.R. 1 now!