What’s in the For The People Act?

By Steve Evered

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.R 1, For the People Act of 2019. Here are the major provisions.

Protecting and expanding voting rights and election security:

  • Automatic voter registration – eligible voters are automatically registered when they have contact with government agencies, unless they opt out.
  • Online voter registration.
  • Same day voter registration.
  • Make election day a federal holiday.
  • Voting rights restoration to people with prior felony convictions.
  • Expand early voting and simplify absentee voting.
  • Prohibit voter purges that kick eligible voters off the registration rolls.
  • Enhance election security with increased support for a paper-based voting system and more oversight over election vendors.
  • End partisan gerrymandering by establishing independent redistricting commissions.
  • Prohibit providing false information about the elections process that discourage voting and other deceptive practices.

Reduce the influence of big money in our politics:

  • Require secret money organizations that spend money in elections to disclose their donors.
  • Upgrade online political spending transparency rules to ensure voters know who is paying for the advertisements they see.
  • Create a small donor-focused public financing matching system so candidates for Congress aren’t just reliant on big money donors to fund their campaigns and set their priorities.
  • Strengthen oversight rules to ensure those who break our campaign finance laws are held accountable.
  • Overhaul the Federal Election Commission to enforce campaign finance law.
  • Prohibit the use of shell companies to funnel foreign money in U.S. elections.
  • Require government contractors to disclose their political spending.

Ensure an ethical government accountable to the people:

  • Slow the revolving door between government officials and lobbyists.
  • Expand conflict of interest law.
  • Ban members of Congress from serving on corporate boards.
  • Require presidents to publicly disclose their tax returns.
  • Overhaul the Office of Government Ethics to ensure stronger enforcement of ethics rules.
  • Require members of the U.S. Supreme Court abide by a judicial code of ethics.

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