So, what exactly is H.R. 1? It’s also known as ‘For the People Act H.R. 1’ and the ‘The American Anti-Corruption Act’. The brief, but very important summary of H.R. 1 is:
‘To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.’
If you want to read the full text of this VERY IMPORTANT bill, check it out.
Another way to summarize this bill is: ‘H.R. 1 ensures that there are cops on the campaign finance beat that will enforce the laws on the books. H.R. 1 tightens rules on super PACs and restructures the Federal Election Commission to break the gridlock and enhance its enforcement mechanisms.’
Here’s how Indivisible explains the highlights H.R 1:
Empower voters and reverse decades of Republican voter suppression. By restoring protections from the gutted Voting Rights Act, expanding voter eligibility, simplifying registration, and preventing partisan gerrymandering, H.R. 1 will make our elections more representative and participatory.
Stem the tide of big money in our elections and strengthen campaign finance law. H.R. 1 takes important steps to reverse the disastrous effects of Citizens United, providing public financing to amplify small-dollar donations, requiring disclosure of all political spending, and more.
Tackle ethics and corruption in government. H.R. 1 expands government ethics rules to cover everyone in government (including the president) — demanding disclosure of financial conflicts of interest, blocking the “revolving door” between government and lobbying firms, and prohibiting bribery.
We have a new and promising new administration in Washington D.C. and added to that, passing H.R. 1 would help build a more inclusive democracy. It would fix many of the core things that are broken in our democracy. Just think about easier voting, less voter suppression and more transparency. If you’re a lobbyist, you would dislike H.R. 1, so that is a sign that it’s better for the people and not so great for people getting rich off of corrupt and lazy politicians.
Here’s what H.R. 1 could do if passed:
**FIX OUR BROKEN ELECTIONS
**END SECRET MONEY
**STOP POLITICAL BRIBERY
(Yes, this would require it would require political donors to disclose their identities. OK, it is ludicrous that these donors are not disclosed!
**ENFORCE THE RULES
At a local level, just think about how it seems like all politicians are rich guys who went to Ivy League Universities. Political campaigns are expensive, and few people can afford to jump in and run. This dynamic makes politicians dependent upon special interest donors. And we all know
Just take a look at big donors and the money that went into the House and Senate races. AND NOTE THE TOTALS FROM PACs. It’s out of control.
More than anything else, I want to see major improvements in U.S. elections. It is long overdue, and we have such an ugly history of horrible voter suppression, poll taxes, people killed trying to vote, and just plain discrimination everywhere. Some radical ideas to help improve our elections:
- End gerrymandering
- Allow all Americans to Vote Absentee
- Let all voters participate in open primaries
- Change how elections are funded
- Enact reasonable term limits
It’s the voters who deserve more control over the elections and more choices at the ballot! If Republicans get their way, as they are doing now in Georgia, they’ll do whatever they can to make mail-in voting impossible — which they blame for their 2020 loss of the White House and Senate, and are vowing to never let happen again.
So, what’s next?
So next week, the first week of March, H.R. 1 will be on the floor. The House passed this measure last Congress but legislation not signed into law EXPIRES at the end of each Congress and the House had to begin the process again. Coronavirus Relief has jumped ahead of this Bill in regards to Biden’s first days in office, which is understandable so H.R. 1 was not the first out of the gate. No doubt, this is a mega-bill that would be highly transformational. And yes, it does require 60 votes. Let’s see what the Democrats can do but I will not give up hope for a better country where everyone can easily be heard at the polls.
And this, from Politico (2/26/21), which seems promising…
Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) has a message for her party: “I am a brown girl from the ‘hood, who is a Republican, who is coming to tell my party that it’s time to wake up and smell the votes.” ***Rep Salazar is a Cuban American!
“It’s time for us to be sending the right message to the largest minority in the country. We are 20 percent of the population. We are 60 million people …We are 30 million votes available,” Salazar told your Huddle host in an exclusive interview Thursday.
Go H.R. 1! PASS.
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Here’s a site for H.R. 1 Fact Checking.