Today, Common Cause urged every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote “yes” on the For the People Act (H.R. 1) when it goes to a floor vote on Wednesday. The letter notes that Common Cause plans to key-vote final passage of H.R. 1, and possibly amendments that would weaken the bill, in our next Democracy Scorecard, which we send to our 1.5 million members. The pro-voter, anti-corruption bill contains the most comprehensive set of democracy reforms to be introduced in Congress since the post-Watergate reforms were passed in the 1970s. The letter emphasizes that our democracy faces a crisis in the wake of insurrectionists storming the Capitol and more than 250 GOP voter suppression bills – largely targeting Black and Brown Americans – introduced in state legislatures since Republicans lost the White House and control of the Senate.
“Our nation has reached a crisis point that must be addressed through sweeping democratic reforms and that is precisely what the For the People Act offers to every citizen,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “The legislation will restore the rule of law, empower the voices of all Americans, curb abusive partisan gerrymandering, and strengthen the right to vote for every eligible American. Not since the Jim Crow era has the right to vote of Black and Brown Americans been so systematically targeted, and those abuses must be stopped. Change is already happening at the state and local level, and citizens expect their members of Congress to follow suit or step aside. Americans spoke clearly at the polls and showed that they are fed up with the Trump administration and a Congress that put special interests before constituents.”
Today’s letter advocates for the sweeping set of reforms that would strengthen our democracy by getting big money out of politics, curbing gerrymandering abuses, safeguarding voting rights, empowering voters and securing our elections, as well as curbing corruption and making government more accountable to the people. Many of the reforms included in the For the People Act have already passed at the state and local level in red, blue, and purple localities, often with bipartisan support. The letter closes by reminding Members that their vote on the For the People Act “could be the last best chance to fix our broken democracy.” Flynn emphasized that our democracy could be at risk for a generation or more if the legislation is not passed quickly. The letter encourages Members to enact these sweeping reforms and push for swift passage of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, two bills that have also previously passed the House of Representatives and that would similarly amplify the voices of everyday Americans.
To read the full letter, click here.