All 48 House Democrats on Monday signed onto HR1, which contains changes to campaign finance, voting, and ethics laws, and is heavily opposed by Republicans, reports Fox News.
HR1, called the For the People Act, is a bill that folds together previous proposals for absentee voting, in-person voting, campaign finance, and ethics. Republicans have ripped the legislation as a “federal government takeover.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in a letter to House members last week said the lower chamber will take up the bill during the week of March 1.
“This legislation, which the House passed in 2019, is the centerpiece of Democrats’ agenda to make government more transparent and accountable to the people it serves,” the Maryland Democrat wrote. “From protecting voting rights to reforming campaign finance, from requiring higher ethical standards for public officials to engaging in nonpartisan redistricting reform, H.R. 1 aims to renew Americans’ faith that their government will always work for the people.”
The 791-page bill aims to “expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy.”
House Democrats passed the bill during the 116th Congress but it received neither a hearing nor a floor vote in the then-Republican controlled Senate.
Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell labeled it the “Democrat Protection Act” and said in an opinion column that Democrats were seeking to “change the rules of American politics to benefit one party.”
The American Civil Liberties Union last year urged lawmakers to vote against the bill, citing "provisions that unconstitutionally impinge on the free speech rights of American citizens and public interest organizations."
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