ICYMI: Momentum Builds For S.1, the For the People Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 19, 2021, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley teamed up with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to announce that the new Senate Majority will designate the For the People Act—groundbreaking anti-corruption legislation that—as S.1. This groundbreaking anti-corruption and voting rights legislation would restore the integrity of American democracy and bring accountability to American politics at a pivotal moment in the nation’s history.


For years, the powerful and privileged have used dark money to infiltrate Washington, D.C. Their efforts, coupled with a decades-long, concerted plan to suppress votes and gerrymander districts with surgical precision, have shut the American people—and their best interests—out of the legislative process.


The For the People Actwhich is supported by more than 150 organizations representing tens of millions of Americans from the labor, racial justice, voting rights, faith, environmental, women’s rights, good government, and other communities—would unrig American politics and restore the people’s voice in America’s ‘We the People’ government.


In case you missed it, here’s what they’re saying:


Opinion: Republicans want more voter suppression. Here’s how to make elections more fair — not less. (The Washington Post Editorial Board)

…U.S. democracy needs an overhaul — not to restrict voting but to shut down politicians who seek to tilt the rules at the people’s expense. Using their power over federal elections, Democrats and any Republicans of conscience in Congress must make such an overhaul a top priority in the coming months. Fortunately, Democrats have an appealing bill ready to go that they have been crafting for years…  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


Opinion: The fight to revive democracy has only just begun (Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Washington post) 

…Fortunately, the new Congress is already fighting to restore democracy. One of the first bills before the new Senate — submitted as S. 1 to reflect its importance — will be Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-Ore.) For the People Act. The act is the Senate counterpart to the House’s For the People Act, a sweeping piece of legislation spearheaded by Sarbanes and passed in 2019. Both versions of the legislation would implement automatic voter registration, expand same-day voter registration and institute early voting nationwide. Also awaiting a vote in the Senate is the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore parts of the Voting Rights Act the Supreme Court struck down in 2013. Together, these bills would do more to protect and expand the right to vote than any legislation passed since the Great Society…. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


Senate Democrats Announce First Order Of Business For New Majority: Fixing Democracy (Paul Blumenthal, The Huffington Post)

…American democracy is imperiled like at no other time in modern history; the country is coming off an election in which President Donald Trump refused to accept his loss. With the help of national and local Republicans, he launched legal efforts to overturn or ify the voting results. These lies culminated in the violent sacking of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 that left five people dead.


“We have all been reminded in the starkest terms that government of the people, by the people, and for the people is not guaranteed,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the lead Senate sponsor of the For the People Act with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), said in a statement introducing the bill… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


Democrats seek momentum for voting, political money overhaul (Kate Ackley, CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Democrats, as well as representatives of outside groups pushing for passage of the package, said the overhaul would help shore up voters’ confidence in a democracy damaged by a violent attempted insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and after four years of corruption scandals and flouting of ethics norms during Donald Trump’s presidency.


“I think that every American has received a message that the integrity of our elections is incredibly important, and so in terms of accountability for the events of this past year, there’s probably nothing more important than passing the For the People Act,” said Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


Senate Democrats make democracy reform first bill of new majority (Jordain Carney, The Hill)

…The bill, which is endorsed by a wide swath of progressive and civil rights groups, includes, among other things, changes to voter registration requirements, more funding for election security, requirements for presidents and vice presidents to disclose their tax returns and new ethics rules for members of Congress… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


Majority of US Voters Across Political Spectrum Back Landmark Pro-Democracy Reform Bill: Poll (Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams)

…The new survey, conducted by the left-leaning think tank Data for Progress and the advocacy group Equal Citizens, found a majority of self-described Democrats, Republicans, and independents support the For the People Act… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.