STATEMENT: House’s Sweeping Anti-Corruption and Clean Elections Legislation Offers Historic Opportunity to Return Power to the People

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives filed H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019. This comprehensive legislative package contains bold solutions to reduce big money and dark money in politics; impose stronger ethics restrictions on public officials; and strengthen voting rights to empower American voters. The Center for American Progress has long advocated for anti-corruption policies and has been a leading member of the Declaration for American Democracy, a diverse coalition of more than 120 organizations representing millions of Americans that is demanding strong, clear solutions to make our democracy more representative of everyday Americans.

Following the announcement of the bill, Neera Tanden, CAP president and CEO, released the following statement:

In November, voters swept Democrats into control of the U.S. House by the biggest margin in modern history with a mandate to tackle the out-of-control culture of corruption. Emboldened by a new freshman class of political reformers, the House has taken a huge step toward curbing the culture of corruption on day one of the new congressional session by filing H.R. 1, the For the People Act. This legislation presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix the way Washington works—and ensure that the most important voice in shaping elections and policy decisions is the voice of the people, not millionaires and wealthy special interests. Only by cleaning up corruption can our government prioritize substantive policies such as affordable health care, better-paying jobs, clean air and water, and gun violence prevention.

This historic reform legislation—the most sweeping since Watergate—includes policies to ban members of Congress from serving on for-profit corporate boards or using nonpublic information to personally enrich themselves. It also shines a bright light on dark money and foreign money in our elections and enacts a small-dollar campaign finance system to vastly amplify the voices of everyday Americans in our elections. CAP urges the House to quickly pass the For the People Act in order to curb corruption in our political system and rebuild the public’s confidence in our elections and our government.

Related resources:

For more information on this topic or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at  or 202.495.3682.