Kaptur Votes to Pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Kaptur voted to pass H.R. 1: the For the People Act of 2019, a bold, transformative piece of legislation that will put the power over American Democracy back in the hands of the people. This will help restore Americans’ faith that government works for the public interest, not the special interests.
“For too long our political system has favored the privileged and the powerful, leaving the voices of hardworking Americans, like those of our district, drowned out by corporate interests and those who can afford a lobbyist,” said Rep. Kaptur. “H.R. 1 takes a stand against that status quo by kicking corporate influence out of our elections, holds the President and other federal officials accountable, and gives power over our Democracy back to the people.”
- Campaign Finance Reform: Ends the dominance of big money in politics – ending the dominance of big money in our political system by requiring transparent disclosure of big-money contributors and special interests; creates a powerful matching system for small donations that amplifies citizens’ voices in politics and breaks the special interest stranglehold on Congress; pushes back on Citizens United; and strengthens oversight of campaign finance by tightening rules on super PACs, empowers the Federal Election Commission’s enforcement abilities, and repeals GOP rules that prevent government agencies from requiring commonsense disclosure of political spending.
- Restoring Our Democracy: Ensures clean and fair elections – improves access to the ballot box by combatting institutional barriers to voting, creates nationwide automatic voter registration, ensures that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full rights restored, expands early voting and absentee voting, and modernizes the U.S. voting system; builds the constitutional record necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act; and prohibits voter roll purges and ends partisan gerrymandering. H.R. 1 also protects our election systems from attack by enhancing federal support for voting system security, increases oversight over vendors and develops a national strategy to protect our democratic institutions.
- Ethics and Accountability: Ensures public officials work for the public interest – breaks the influence economy in Washington and increases accountability by expanding conflict of interest law and divestment requirements, slows the revolving door, prevents Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards and requires presidents to disclose their tax returns. H.R. 1 also strengthens ethics enforcement by closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents, empowers watchdogs, overhauls the Office of Government Ethics and creates a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
Rep. Kaptur also introduced three pieces of bold campaign finance reform legislation earlier this year.
- H.J Res. 39, a Constitutional Amendment to nullify Citizens United v. FEC and grant Congress and the States the power to establish limits on contributions and expenditures in elections for public office. Additionally, the amendment concludes that First Amendment protections do not apply to the political speech of corporations and other business organizations with respect to the disbursement of funds in connection with public elections.
- H.Con.Res 11, a resolution to express the sense of Congress that the Supreme Court misinterpreted the First Amendment to the Constitution in the case of Buckley v. Valeo, which equated campaign spending with free speech and cleared the way for foreign and special interests to funnel dark money through 501(c)(4) organizations. Buckley v. Valeo failed to recognize the corrosive effect unlimited campaign spending has on our electoral process and in order to secure free speech as a right of the people rather than corporations this misinterpretation must be reversed.
- H.R. 896, the Fairness in Political Advertising Act, would require television broadcasting stations to make available two hours of free advertising broadcast time in each even-numbered year to each qualified political candidate in a statewide or national election. This would help level the playing field for viable candidates running against campaigns bankrolled by special interests.