STATEMENT: Momentum Builds for Democracy Reform as Schumer Designates the For the People Act as Senate’s First Bill
Washington, D.C. — The Center for American Progress applauds the decision of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the incoming majority leader, to designate the For the People Act as the Senate’s first bill, S. 1. When this pro-voter, anti-corruption legislation is introduced in the next few days, it will be the Senate’s counterpart to the House’s H.R. 1 democracy reform legislation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) filed H.R. 1 on January 4 and have vowed to move quickly to pass it in the House.
In the last Congress, H.R. 1 was passed on the House floor and was co-sponsored by every member of the Senate Democratic Caucus. President-elect Joe Biden has been a pro-democracy champion for decades and has vowed to prioritize the types of reforms contained in this legislation as president. Sen. Schumer as well as Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have shown tremendous leadership on democracy reform and in their continued efforts to pass this legislation.
The Center for American Progress has been a fierce advocate for this transformative legislation, which will strengthen voting rights to empower American voters, reduce big money and dark money in politics, and impose stronger ethics restrictions on public officials. In response to the Senate action, Michael Sozan, senior fellow on CAP’s Democracy and Government Reform team, issued the following statement:
The need to pass the For the People Act has taken on even greater urgency following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and President Donald Trump’s attempts to overrule a valid election. As Leader Schumer and Sens. Merkley and Klobuchar recognize, we must strengthen the foundations of our democracy and reverse the steady erosion of trust in government by empowering everyday Americans, especially communities of color and other communities that have been historically marginalized. Once the For the People Act passes, Americans will see progress on issues they care about, like accessible health care, clean air and water, and racial justice.
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