ICYMI: Amid Trial, Growing Calls for Government Accountability and Strengthening Democracy Boost the For the People Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As millions of Americans tuned in to the impeachment trial, calls for strengthening democracy and increasing government accountability—and the passage of the voting rights and anti-corruption package outlined by the For the People Act—continued to grow. 

Last month, 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 legislation 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—and at a time when an unprecedented amount of legislation is being introduced at the state level to restrict voting access in 2021.

More on that:

After Record Turnout, Republicans Are Trying to Make It Harder to Vote (Michael Wines, The New York Times)

…Now, in statehouses nationwide, Republicans who echoed former President Donald J. Trump’s baseless claims of rampant fraud are proposing to make it harder to vote next time — ostensibly to convince the very voters who believed them that elections can be trusted again. And even some colleagues who defended the legitimacy of the November vote are joining them… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


Dozens of states see new voter suppression proposals (Russell Contreras and Stef W. Kight, Axios)

…There are at least 165 proposals under consideration in 33 states so far this year to restrict future voting access by limiting mail-in ballots, implementing new voter ID requirements and slashing registration options.

Driving the news: As former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial begins over his role in the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection that sought to overturn President Biden’s victory — fueled by baseless allegations of voter fraud — lawmakers in states with GOP majorities are pushing new ballot obstacles based on similar baseless allegations… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


Trump’s Election Lies are Fueling A New GOP Voter Suppression Crusade (Eric Lutz, Vanity Fair)

…That notion that lawmakers can simply disregard the will of the people is an affront to the very idea of representative democracy. And yet Republicans no longer seem to be exerting so much effort trying to disguise their motives. One lesson Trump taught them is that they need not be so subtle about this kind of thing; much of the GOP base was emboldened, rather than turned off, by his increasingly audacious attacks on the electoral system. For a party that has no real platform and represents fewer Americans, and which apparently has no immediate interest in evolving, limiting or disregarding its opponents’ voters may be the most reliable path to power. Thanks to Trump, some of them may no longer be so shy about saying so… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


And in case you missed it, here’s what they’re saying about the For the People Act, and how it would push back against this new wave of voter suppression:


Opinion: Stacey Abrams: Our democracy faced a near-death experience. Here’s how to revive it. (Stacey Abrams, The Washington Post)

The violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, coupled with ongoing threats to election officials, election workers and lawmakers at all levels, represent unprecedented attacks on the foundations of our democracy. Certainly, President Donald Trump and others in his party who inspired the attacks must be held accountable through all available means. But accountability alone will not be nearly enough.

Only meaningful reforms can undo the damage done — and establish a government that is truly representative of the people. The next real test of our democracy comes now… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

The Senate’s coming crisis over majority rule (Ronald Brownstein, CNN)

…Oregon’s Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, the chief sponsor of the Senate equivalent to HR 1, has suggested that even if all 50 Democrats are unwilling to end the filibuster for all legislation, they might agree to revise it just for bills setting the rules for elections.

The irony is that voters appear far ahead of the legislators in treating Congress as a parliamentary institution. More and more of them appear to be casting their ballots based on judgments about which party they want to control Congress rather than personal comparisons of the candidates. Split-ticket voting, in which voters support presidential candidates of one party and congressional candidates from the other, has virtually disappeared…  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

American Democracy is Only 55 Years Old—And Hanging by a Thread  (Vann R. Newkirk II, The Atlantic)

…The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act cannot be fully considered without its legislative sibling, the For the People Act, championed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The voting-rights components of this bill would establish nationwide automatic voter registration, state-level redistricting commissions, and voting by mail, and it would fend off efforts such as voter-ID and anti-ballot-harvesting laws. In essence, the For the People Act would nationalize many of the reforms that states experimented with during the pandemic.

If both pieces of legislation were passed, they would represent the most significant expansion of federal voting-rights protections in at least a generation… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.