STATEMENT: CAP’s Neera Tanden: The For the People Act is Already Influencing Politics Far Beyond Capitol Hill

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate unveiled historic democracy reform legislation that is the counterpart to the U.S. House of Representatives’ H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019, which overwhelmingly passed in the House on March 8. The For the People Act is a comprehensive legislative package that contains far-reaching 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. Today’s Senate legislation, led by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), was cosponsored by 47 senators, showing the continued strength of the democracy reform movement.

Following the introduction of the Senate’s companion legislation to H.R.1, Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

Today is another history-making day, with the Senate’s introduction of sweeping legislation to curb the culture of corruption and protect voting rights. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives—led by congressional Democrats—passed H.R.1, meeting the demands of voters to bring fundamental reform to Washington. The Senate’s companion legislation to H.R.1 would help ensure that everyday Americans have their voices fairly represented in elections and policy decisions and not be drowned out by wealthy special interests.

Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has vowed to oppose this people-powered legislation, CAP urges the Senate to support this reform package. Despite McConnell’s attempts to block these reforms, the For the People Act is already influencing politics far beyond Capitol Hill. Curbing the culture of corruption has become a major theme in the 2020 presidential race. Many progressive 2020 candidates have embraced money-in-politics reforms and decided to reject all corporate PAC money.

The Center for American Progress has long advocated for anti-corruption and clean election policies—and it is a leading member of the Declaration for American Democracy—a diverse coalition of approximately 150 organizations representing millions of Americans that is demanding strong, clear solutions to make our democracy more representative of everyday Americans.

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For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at jcusick@americanprogress.org or 202-495-3682.