House Passes Sweeping Pro-Democracy Reforms in the Face of Stiff K Street Opposition

Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

Score one for the people. The House passed the For the People Act in the face of stiff opposition from K Street’s corporate lobbyists and special interests. The legislation truly is for the people, bundling together a comprehensive set of long-overdue democracy reforms at a time when democratic norms are under siege in our nation. Many of the reforms included in H.R. 1 are tested reforms that are working at the state and local level with bipartisan support to 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.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) are to be commended for crafting and shepherding this remarkable piece of legislation through to unanimous passage by the House Democratic Caucus. It is troubling, though, that not a single Republican voted for the legislation. A stronger democracy should never be a partisan issue.

These pro-democracy reforms are not pipe dreams; they 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. It is time to enact them on a national level.

Americans are demanding change, and the U.S. House of Representatives is listening and acting. In a move that K Street is secretly applauding, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has threatened to deny this legislation a vote in the Senate. Americans want and deserve pro-democracy reforms, and with an election approaching they are watching Senator McConnell and his colleagues closely.