Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed once-in-a-generation democracy reform legislation: H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021. This comprehensive legislative package contains bold solutions to expand the right of Americans to safely and securely vote; to end partisan gerrymandering; to counteract big money and dark money in politics with small-dollar donors and transparency; and to impose appropriate ethics restrictions on public officials.
The Center for American Progress has long advocated for anti-corruption and clean election policies. CAP is a leading member of the Declaration for American Democracy, a diverse coalition of approximately 190 organizations representing millions of Americans that is demanding strong, clear solutions to make our democracy more representative of everyday Americans, including communities of color.
This critical legislation passed under the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and John Sarbanes (D-MD). Now, the Senate will consider this transformative measure. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has designated this legislation as the first bill of the session, making passage a high priority. And President Joe Biden has repeatedly vowed to strengthen our fragile democracy and supports this legislation.
Following the passage of H.R. 1, Mara Rudman, executive vice president for policy at CAP, released the following statement:
Today, the House—led by congressional Democrats—took a huge step forward toward strengthening our democracy. After repeated lies about the outcome of the election, the deadly Capitol insurrection, and hundreds of voter suppression bills just introduced by anti-democratic lawmakers around the nation, Americans are demanding this kind of bold action from Congress. The Senate must now pass the For the People Act, and President Biden must swiftly sign it into law.
This measure would ensure that the most important voice in shaping elections and policy decisions is the voice of the people—not millionaires and wealthy special interests. This legislation is the most sweeping democracy reform legislation since Watergate. It includes policies to help ensure that every American can exercise their right to vote and to stop partisan gerrymandering. The measure also shines a bright light on dark money and foreign money in our elections while enacting a small-dollar donor system and setting important new ethics standards.
These far-reaching solutions to restore our democracy will rebuild the public’s confidence that our government works for everyone, including communities of color who have been locked out of the democratic process for far too long. And it will unleash long-blocked progress on popular policies such as accessible health care, clean air and water, racial justice, and gun violence prevention.
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