A Year After Sweeping Pro-Democracy Reforms Passed House, it is Past Time for the Senate to Act

Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

Democracy reform, driven by the people, is on the march in states and municipalities across the nation where scores of pro-democracy reforms have been enacted. But democracy reform remains stalled in the U.S. Senate where the Republican majority ignores the will of the people. Sunday will mark one year since the U.S. House of Representatives passed its sweeping and transformative package of pro-democracy reforms in the For the People Act, or H.R. 1.

These pro-democracy reforms are tested and proven solutions in effect in states, cities and towns across the nation. We know these solutions work because we have seen them work. We have seen broad public support for these reforms across the political spectrum, and when these reforms are on the ballot, they win by large margins.  When the reforms pass legislatively at the state or local level, it is often with bipartisan support. It is time to enact them on a national level.

The reforms in H.R. 1 would help every American have a voice in Washington and break the hold that special interests have on Washington blocking legislation supported by the vast majority of Americans – like lowering prescription drug prices or requiring background checks to purchase firearms.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) deserve credit for leading a concerted push to garner the support of every single Democratic Member of Congress for the sweeping reforms. Americans are demanding change and passing laws at the state and local level but Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has presided over a legislative graveyard of pro-democracy reforms.

In the system that Sen. McConnell clings to, special interests call the shots in Washington. The American people are watching and they are tired of the corrupt status quo. Americans are demanding change, and with an election approaching, the Senate majority would be wise to listen to the will of the people.