Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester voted on March 8 for House Resolution 1, the For the People Act, to protect elections, end the influence of big money in politics and advance the most wide-ranging ethics reform package since Watergate.
H.R. 1 will promote fair and open elections by:
— Improving access: H.R. 1 expands access to the ballot box by taking aim at institutional barriers to voting. Patchwork and cumbersome registration systems, disenfranchisement and limited voting hours are roadblocks to a more participatory democracy. H.R. 1 will create automatic voter registration across the country; ensure that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full rights restored; expand early voting and simplify absentee voting and modernize the U.S. voting system.
— Promoting integrity: Commits Congress to build the record necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act; prohibits voter roll purges like those seen in Ohio, Georgia and elsewhere; and ends partisan gerrymandering to prevent politicians from picking their voters.
— Ensuring security: Ensures that American elections are decided by American voters without interference by enhancing federal support for voting system security particularly paper ballots, increasing oversight over election vendors and requiring development of a national strategy to protect U.S. democratic institution.
H.R. 1 will end the dominance of big money in politics by:
— Guaranteeing disclosure: Shines a light on dark money in politics by upgrading online political ad disclosure and requiring all organization involved in political activity to disclose their large donors. Also breaks the so-called “nesting-doll” sham that allows big-money contributors and special interest to hide the true funding source of their political spending.
— Empowering citizens: Gives political power to everyday Americans, creating a multiple matching system for small donations, thereby allowing the American people to exercise their due influence into politics. This new, 21st-century system of citizen-owned elections will break special interests’ stranglehold on Congress and lay the groundwork for an agenda that serves the American people. It also reaffirms that Congress should have the authority to regulate money in politics, pushing back on the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court.
— Strengthening oversight: Ensures that there are cops on the campaign finance beat that will enforce the laws on the books. Tightens rules on Super PACs and restructures the Federal Election Commission to break the gridlock and enhance its enforcement mechanisms. It also repeals Senator Mitch McConnell’s riders that prevent government agencies from requiring common-sense disclosure of political spending.
H.R. 1 will ensure public servants work for the public by:
— Fortifying ethics law: Breaks the influence economy in Washington and increases accountability by expanding conflict of interest law and divestment requirements, slowing the revolving door and requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns.
— Imposing Greater Ethics Enforcement: Gives federal ethics oversight by overhauling the Office of Government Ethics, closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents, ensuring watchdogs have sufficient resources to enforce the law and creating a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.