Washington, D.C. — Momentum is building for Congress to enact once-in-a-generation democracy reform legislation this year, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress.
The For the People Act of 2021 has been designated the first piece of legislation in the House (H.R. 1) and the Senate (S. 1), where it enjoys the enthusiastic support of House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY). Both leaders have vowed to pass it into law. Two years ago, the House passed this pro-voter, anti-corruption package, but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked it in the Senate.
President Joe Biden has championed democracy reform for many decades and has stressed the importance of revitalizing our fragile democracy, which has been severely tested in the past several months, including by a widely perpetuated lie that the presidential election results were invalid and by a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol designed to stop the peaceful transition of power.
“After four years of widespread corruption and undemocratic power grabs that resulted in the ‘big election lie’ and the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, Congress is now well-positioned to pass bold structural reforms to save our democracy,” said Michael Sozan, senior fellow on the Democracy and Government Reform team at CAP and author of the issue brief. “The For the People Act would give political power back to everyday Americans, including communities of color that have long been marginalized. House and Senate leadership, as well as President Biden, recognize Americans’ demands to reform the broken system and are poised to meet this historic moment by enacting the For the People Act.”
The For the People Act is transformative legislation that would strengthen the country’s foundations of democracy and return power to everyday Americans, including communities of color and others long shut out of the political system. It contains solutions to empower voters, reduce big money and dark money in politics while amplifying the power of small donors, and impose stronger ethics restrictions on public officials. A stronger and more representative democracy would help ensure progress on critical priorities such as lowering prescription drug prices, creating racial justice, and combating climate change.
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