Merkley Legislation to Renew Democracy, Take Big Money Out of Politics Will Be First Bill for New Majority

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and incoming Chair of the Senate Rules Committee Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today announced that the Senate Democratic majority’s first bill in the new Congress will be Merkley’s For the People Act, comprehensive legislation to strengthen and reform our democracy. 

The For The People Act is a sweeping package of pro-democracy reforms, taking urgent and long overdue steps to renew our democracy by making it easier for all eligible Americans to vote; ending the dominance of big, dark money in politics; and ensuring that public officials work in the public interest—all reforms that the American people overwhelmingly support.

“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 Merkley. “A violent assault on the Capitol is not the only way to attack democracy. Everyone who believes in our Constitutional vision should support reforms that make sure the American people are able to vote and that their government reflects their preferences and works for them.”

Senators Merkley and Schumer, along with former U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) led the entire Democratic caucus in introducing the legislation in the 116th Congress, but outgoing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republican leadership refused to allow even a hearing, stopping the bill in its tracks.  The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill early in 2019.

Senate Democrats are committed to fighting the corruption that has prevented Washington from addressing the pressing needs of the American people and restoring the democratic values that have guided our nation for over 200 years.  

Some key endorsements of the For the People Act include End Citizens United/Let America Vote, Democracy 21, Center for American Progress, People for the American Way, Brady, Sierra Club, Public Citizen, League of Women Voters, Brennan Center for Justice, National Council of Jewish Women, The Center for Popular Democracy, Communications Workers of America, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Common Cause, Indivisible, American Federation of Teachers and the League of Conservation Voters. A comprehensive list of endorsements can be found here.

A section-by-section summary of the For The People Act can be found here.