What are the Democrats going to do first when they take the majority in the House starting in January?
We knew that they wanted to tackle voting rights, but we now have the details of the first bill the Democrats will present in the 116th Congress. H.R. 1 is basically an anti-corruption bill. In addition to voting rights, there are reforms for campaign finance and ethics as well!
Here’s what is reportedly in the bill:
🔹 The bill would create a NATIONAL automatic voter registration system. Citizens could opt out if they wish. We know from the states that have automatic voter registration, it increases the number of registered voters dramatically.
🔹 The bill would restore the Voting Rights Act. It would eliminate voter roll purges and partisan gerrymandering for federal elections.
🔹 The bill would strengthen election security, especially by requiring the federal government to do regular checks for foreign interference.
🔹 The bill would REQUIRE that presidents disclose his or her tax returns.
🔹 The bill would strengthen the Office of Government Ethics so they could do more oversight and enforcement.
🔹 The bill would eliminate the practice of using taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims against members of Congress.
🔹 The bill would require Super PACs and dark money organizations to disclose their donors.
🔹 The bill would force the passage of the Honest Ads Act, which would require that platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to disclose who paid for political ads.
🔹 The bill would set up a structure to allow for public financing of campaigns, which would take away the ability for wealthy donors to have undue influence on political campaigns.
Now, these are the details that have been released so far. Once a draft of the bill becomes available, we’ll know a lot more. I was happy to read that a group of freshman House Reps are already involved with the bill.
Here’s where it gets even better. Nancy Pelosi will bring this bill to the floor. And it’ll pass because the Democrats now have the majority. But what will the Republicans do? Imagine the 2020 campaign ads if they vote AGAINST a bill that aims to decrease corruption.
Now, that said, we are still dealing with Mitch McConnell over in the Senate. There is little chance he’ll take up this bill in the Senate. And while that sucks, it sure does send a STRONG message to the American people that these anti-corruption reforms–that a clear majority of Americans want, by the way–are being ignored by the Republicans in the Senate.
The introduction and passage of this bill may only be the opening shot, but it sends an important message to the American people and one that we need to keep visible for the next two years.