BISHOP STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF HR 1, FOR THE PEOPLE ACT
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement after the House approved H.R. 1, For The People Act, by a vote of 234 to 193:
“Today’s vote was a vote to restore transparency, accountability, and trust back to government. The For The People Act puts an end to big money in our political system, and clears the way for small contributions to be matched, so the voices of the American people are properly heard.
“This bill will expand early and absentee voting, enhance support for voting system security, and curtail gerrymandering by establishing state commissions to draw congressional districts. It will restrict policies that lead to disenfranchisement, and limiting voting hours. It will require presidential candidates to release their tax returns for the prior ten years, and other measures to restore ethics and integrity to government.
“For too long, our elections have been unduly influenced by big money, and it is high-time we return to the values on which our nation was founded: ‘a government of the people, by the people, for the people’.”
H.R. 1, For The People Act:
Ensures clean and fair elections and makes it easier for Americans to exercise their right to vote:
- Creates automatic voter registration.
- Expands early voting and targets policies that lead to disenfranchisement and limit voting hours.
- Restores voting rights to citizens who have served felony sentences.
- Provides financial support to improve election infrastructure and improves oversight by requiring a national strategy for protecting U.S. democratic institutions.
- Prohibits voter rolls purges, a tactic used in Texas and Ohio to kick eligible voters off the voting rolls.
Reforms our campaign finance system, ensuring complete transparency and putting in place reasonable limits.
- Expresses Congress’ intent to curb the use of shell companies and other illicit activities that allow foreign money to enter and undermine our democracy.
- Bans foreign money, ensures disclosure of online political ads, requires all political organizations to disclose their large donors, and prohibits big-money contributors and special interests from hiding the true funding sources of their political spending.
- Empowers citizens by establishing a matching system for small donations.
- Restructures the Federal Election Commission to have five commissioners in order to break gridlock, devotes resources to ensure campaign finance laws are enforced, and improves oversight of existing campaign finance laws.
Puts in place national redistricting reform.
- Requires states to adopt independent redistricting commissions for purposes of drawing Congressional districts.
Demands accountability and guarantees public officials put the American people first.
- Prohibits Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards and requires the online linking of Federal Election Commission reports and Lobbying Disclosure Act reports.
- Prohibits Members of Congress from using taxpayer funds to settle any case of employment discrimination acts by the Members.
- Requires presidents to disclose ten years of federal tax returns.
- Strengthens the Office of Government Ethics.
- Closes loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents.
- Addresses conflicts of interest in the Executive Branch.
Institutes a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.