Democracy Download from Monday, April 27, 2015

As you work on money in politics, voting rights, and/or other government reform issues, Common Cause will send you occasional updates with key DC-based forums, hearings, legislation, and litigation related to these issues. If you would like to submit future listings for this email, please contact Aaron Scherb.

Key Dates (All times Eastern)

  • April 29, 9am-4pm: Committee on House Administration hosts the Legislative Data and Transparency Conference, Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium, Washington, DC. Agenda here. RSVP here.
  • April 29th, 2pm-5pm: Election Assistance Commission public meeting, Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel, Williamsburg, VA. Agenda is here.
  • April 30, 5:30pm-7:30pm: Brennan Center for Justice holds an open house at its new office, Washington, DC. RSVP here
  • April (or later): The Supreme Court may agree to hear oral arguments in voting rights cases from Kansas/Arizona, North Carolina, and/or Texas. (On March 24, Kansas and Arizona asked the Supreme Court to hear their case about their federal voter registration form).
  • May 3, 5:30pm: AJC, Moment Magazine, and the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute host an event entitled, "50th Anniversary Celebration of the Voting Rights Act," 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC. RSVP here.
  • May 7, 9:30am-11am: Bipartisan Policy Center hosts an event entitled, "Evolving Congress" at the National Press Club's First Amendment Lounge, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC. RSVP here.
  • May 12, 9am-12:15pm: FEC holds a Public Forum on Women in Politics, 999 E St. NW, Washington, DC. RSVP here.
  • May 13, 6pm-8pm: Close Up Foundation Congressional Reception with Sen. Jon Tester and Rep. Tom Cole, 2168 Rayburn (Gold Room), Washington, DC. RSVP here.
  • June: Supreme Court decision is expected in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, a case that has potential implications for other states' redistricting commissions (the case was argued before the Supreme Court on March 2, 2015).

Recent state wins

  • April 22: Montana passed a bipartisan bill strengthening disclosure laws for political spending, and the legislation was signed into law by the Governor.

Money in Politics Reform Legislation/Constitutional Amendments in 114th Congress (new legislation is bolded)

  • HR 20, Government by the People Act (Rep. Sarbanes, 147 cosponsors)
  • HR 149, a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to permit candidates for election for Federal office to designate an individual who will be authorized to disburse funds of the authorized campaign committees of the candidate in the event of the death of the candidate. (Rep. Jones, no cosponsors)
  • HR 150, No Political Funds for Personal Use Act (Rep. Jones, no cosponsors)
  • HR 153, To restore the Free Speech and First Amendment rights of churches and exempt organizations by repealing the 1954 Johnson Amendment (Rep. Jones, 2 cosponsors)
  • HR 154, Close the Floodgates Act (Rep. Kilmer, 80 cosponsors)
  • HR 367, Campaign Sunlight Act (Rep. Deutch, 7 cosponsors)
  • HR 412, a bill to end the presidential public financing system (Rep. Cole, 1 cosponsor)
  • HR 418, Corporate Politics Transparency Act (Rep. Meng, 2 cosponsors)
  • HR 424, Empowering Citizens Act (Rep. Price, 4 cosponsors)
  • HR 425, Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act (Rep. Price, 2 cosponsors)
  • HR 430, DISCLOSE 2015 Act (Rep. Van Hollen, 97 cosponsors)
  • HR 446, Shareholder Protection Act (Rep. Capuano, 23 cosponsors)
  • HR 447, a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to reduce the limit on the amount of certain contributions which may be made to a candidate with respect to an election for Federal office (Rep. Capuano, no cosponsors)
  • HR 450, Protect Democracy from Criminal Corporations Act (Rep. Ellison, 1 cosponsor)
  • H.J. Res. 22, Democracy for All Amendment (Rep. Deutch, 102 cosponsors)
  • H.J. Res. 23, an amendment to the Constitution to clarify the authority of Congress and the States to regulate corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state (Rep. McGovern, 16 cosponsors)
  • H.J. Res. 24, an amendment to the Constitution relating to the authority of Congress and the States to regulate political campaign contributions and expenditures, including independent expenditures (Rep. Carney, no cosponsors)
  • H.J. Res. 31, an amendment to the Constitution regarding the permissible sources of funding for elections for public office and State ballot measures (Rep. McNerney, no cosponsors)
  • H.J. Res. 36, an amendment to the Constitution to clarify the authority of Congress and the States to regulate the expenditure of funds for political activity by corporations (Rep. Edwards, 12 cosponsors)
  • H.J. Res. 46, an amendment to the Constitution giving Congress the authority to regulate campaign contributions for federal elections (Rep. Schrader, no cosponsors)
  • S 214, Shareholder Protection Act (Sen. Menendez, 12 cosponsors)
  • S 229, DISCLOSE Act (Sen. Whitehouse, 42 cosponsors)
  • S 366, Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act (Sen. Tester, 34 cosponsors)
  • S.J. Res. 4, an amendment to the Constitution to restore the rights of the Americans that were taken away by the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case and related decisions, to protect the integrity of our elections, and to limit the corrosive influence of money in our democratic process (Sen. Sanders, no cosponsors)
  • S.J. Res. 5, an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections (Sen. Udall, 39 cosponsors)

Voting Rights Legislation/Constitutional Amendments in 114th Congress

  • HR 12, Voter Empowerment Act (Rep. Lewis, 175 cosponsors)
  • HR 126, Students VOTE Act (Rep. Green, 2 cosponsors)
  • HR 195, Election Assistance Commission Termination Act (Rep. Harper, no cosponsors)
  • HR 411, SIMPLE Voting Act (Rep. Cohen, 26 cosponsors)
  • HR 885, a bill to amend the Voting Rights Act (Rep. Sensenbrenner, 61 cosponsors)
  • HR 951, a bill to to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to permit a State to require an applicant for voter registration in the State who uses the Federal mail voter registration application form developed by the Election Assistance Commission under such Act to provide documentary evidence of citizenship as a condition of the State's acceptance of the form. (Rep. Salmon, 4 cosponsors)
  • HR 1459, Democracy Restoration Act (Rep. Conyers, 26 cosponsors)
  • HR 1617, Federal Election Integrity Act (Rep. Susan Davis, no cosponsors)
  • HR 1618, Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act (Rep. Susan Davis, no cosponsors)
  • H.J. Res. 25, Right to Vote Amendment (Rep. Pocan, 32 cosponsors)
  • S 68, Voter Integrity Protection Act (Sen. Vitter, no cosponsors)
  • S 212, LINE Act (Sen. Boxer, 3 cosponsors)
  • S. 457, a bill to secure the Federal voting rights of non-violent persons when released from incarceration (Sen. Paul, 1 cosponsor)
  • S. 772, Democracy Restoration Act (Senator Cardin, 9 cosponsors)

Redistricting Legislation in 114th Congress

  • HR 75, Coretta Scott King Mid-Decade Redistricting Prohibition Act (Rep. Jackson Lee, no cosponsors)
  • HR 219, John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act (Rep. Cohen, 1 cosponsor)
  • HR 934, a bill to require any State which, after enacting a Congressional redistricting plan after a decennial census and apportionment of Representatives, enacts a subsequent Congressional redistricting plan prior to the next decennial census and apportionment of Representatives, to obtain a declaratory judgment or preclearance in the manner provided under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in order for the subsequent plan to take effect. (Rep. Al Green, 2 cosponsors)
  • HR 1346, Redistricting Transparency Act (Rep. Cooper, 19 cosponsors)
  • HR 1347, John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act (Rep. Cooper, 14 cosponsors)

Lobbying, Ethics, and Other Reform Legislation in 114th Congress

  • HR 94, Cameras in the Courtroom Act (Rep. Connolly, 7 cosponsors)
  • HR 261, No More Ghost Money Act (Rep. Barbara Lee, no cosponsors)
  • HR 317, New Columbia Admission Act (Rep. Holmes Norton, 116 cosponsors)
  • HR 318, Stop the Revolving Door in Washington Act (Rep. Posey, no cosponsors)
  • HR 319, End the Congressional Revolving Door Act (Rep. Posey, no cosponsors)
  • HR 567, a bill to provide that a former Member of Congress receiving compensation as a highly-paid lobbyist shall be ineligible to receive certain Federal retirement benefits (Rep. Israel, no cosponsors)
  • HR 653, FOIA Oversight and Improvement Act (Rep. Issa, 40 cosponsors)
  • HR 929, a bill to prevent former Members of Congress from engaging in lobbying contacts (Rep. Cicilline, 1 cosponsor)
  • HR 1037, Ensuring Trust and Honorability in Congressional Standards (ETHICS) Act (Rep. Cicilline, 43 cosponsors)
  • HR 1054, TRUST Act (Rep. Yoho, 22 cosponsors)
  • HR 1069, Presidential Library Donation Reform Act (Rep. Duncan, 1 cosponsor)
  • HR 1097, Ban Insider Trading Act (Rep. Lynch, no cosponsors)
  • HR 1173, Ban Insider Trading Act (Rep. Lynch, 2 cosponsors)
  • HR 1339, a bill to prohibit the use of official funds for airline accommodations for Members of Congress which are not coach-class accommodations or for long-term vehicle leases for Members of Congress (Rep. Graham, 5 cosponsors)
  • HR 1943, Supreme Court Ethics Act (Rep. Slaughter, 27 cosponsors)
  • H Res 93, Strengthen House Floor Integrity Resolution (Rep. Kuster, 10 cosponsors)
  • S 49, a bill to include a question to ascertain United States citizenship and immigration status in each questionnaire used for a decennial census of population (Sen. Vitter, no cosponsors)
  • S 309, a bill to prohibit earmarks (Sen. Toomey, 10 cosponsors)
  • S 558, Presidential Library Donation Reform Act (Sen. Carper, 14 cosponsors)
  • S 702, a bill to strengthen the prohibitions on insider trading (Sen. Reed, 1 cosponsor)
  • S 780, Cameras in the Courtroom Act (Sen. Durbin, 4 cosponsors)
  • S. 783, Sunshine in the Courtroom Act (Sen. Grassley, 8 cosponsors)
  • S. 1072, Supreme Court Ethics Act (Sen. Murphy, 5 cosponsors)

    Take Action

    The Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

    Tell Congress to fix the court’s bad decision!

    Take action.


    Give Today