Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

David Vance (202) 736-5712 or dvance@commoncause.org

Press Release

For the People Act (HR 1) Offers Congressional Answers to American Electorate’s Demands for Democracy Reforms

Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn
WASHINGTON -

Americans across the country have been demanding and passing democracy reforms at the state and local level, and they expect the same from their representatives in Congress. The opportunity to move a series of hearings and a mark-up of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) marks the first viable move in nearly a decade to respond to overwhelming public demand for sweeping reforms. The proposed legislation offers a broad set of democracy reforms at a time when government of, by, and for the people is under siege.

The failure by the last Congress to read the writing on the wall regarding public demands for meaningful democracy reforms led to a drastic change in the composition of the U.S. House of Representatives. The For the People Act represents a down payment to the American people in answer to their full-throated demands for change. It contains many bold reforms, such as small-donor matching fund systems and independent redistricting commissions, that have passed with strong bipartisan support at the state and local level, to help empower the voices of everyday Americans.

We urge the House to pass the bill expeditiously and to forward the bill to the Senate in order to shine a spotlight on the Senate’s response – or silence in the face of public demand. Under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that response has been to declare any proposed democracy reform DOA. That stance must change, or the Senate may find itself with a number of new faces in 2021.  

Common Cause’s Our Democracy 2018 report reflects the growing commitment to press reform in the incoming Congress. It was reflected in the record response rate from campaigns in which we asked then-candidates to go on the record with their positions on 18 key democracy reforms. The responses from more than 370 candidates were heartening, as these reflect an incoming Congress prepared to follow the will of the people.

Many democracy reform champions in Congress have worked for months to develop HR 1. We especially want to thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her dedication to prioritizing democracy reform issues and to Congressman John Sarbanes, leader of the House Democracy Reform Task Force, for introducing the reform package.

To view a report on the ballot reform measures passed around the country this cycle, click here.

To view Common Cause’s “Our Democracy 2018” responses from congressional candidates, click here.

To view this statement online, click here.

###

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Nebraska Mother, Daughter Face Abortion Charges After Facebook Shares Chats With Police

"Until Meta gives up surveilling private messages and begins protecting its users with end-to-end encryption, it remains complicit in the surveillance and criminalization of pregnant people," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


Trump Spews 'Tirade of Same Old Lies' But Pleads the Fifth in New York AG Probe

Noting the ex-president once said that "only guilty people and mobsters plead the Fifth," a Democratic congressman said that "today he proved the point."

Brett Wilkins ·


Becca Balint, Backed by Bernie Sanders, Wins Vermont US House Primary

"This was only possible because of people from every corner of Vermont who banded together to work and vote for a brighter future," said the victorious candidate.

Kenny Stancil ·


Top Economists Hail Chilean Constitution as 'New Global Standard' on Climate, Inequality

"The world has much to learn from the exemplary process of the convention and the visionary product on which Chile will vote in its September plebiscite."

Jake Johnson ·


Ilhan Omar Fends Off Primary Challenger Boosted by Right-Wing PAC Money

"Ilhan Omar has faced some of the ugliest attacks of any elected official and had hundreds of thousands of dollars spent against her," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "Despite this, she won her primary once again."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo