Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, with the entire Senate Democratic Caucus, today introduced the For the People Act, a package of comprehensive reforms to renew our democracy, tackle corruption, and restore the American people’s trust in our government. The landmark legislation—the companion bill to H.R. 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives—aims to restore the promise of American democracy by making it easier to vote; curbing the influence of big money in politics; and strengthening ethics and transparency in government. Earlier this month, the House passed H.R. 1 by a vote of 234-193.
“96 percent of Americans think the problem with our politics is that there is too much money in it,” Bennet said. “The corruption of inaction—where special interests block action on issues like climate change and gun reform—is destroying people’s faith in democracy and imperiling our exercise in self-government. That’s why the For the People Act is so important. It shows people we hear them, and that we are responding with commonsense reforms—from voting access to campaign finance to a ban on partisan gerrymandering.”
The For the People Act adopts language from Bennet’s Fair Maps Act of 2018 to ban partisan gerrymandering. The Bennet language prohibits consideration of where a Member of Congress or candidate resides, along with the political party affiliation or voting history of the local population, in drawing congressional districts.
The legislation also draws on Bennet’s bill with U.S. Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD), the CLEAN Politics Act of 2018, to expand the scope of individuals and activities subject to requirements of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. The provision broadens the definition of lobbying to include individuals who provide strategic advice in support of lobbying, such as Michael Cohen, and requires individuals with authority to direct or substantially influence a lobbying contact made by another individual to also register as a lobbyist.
More broadly, the For the People Act would:
- Make it easier to vote by expanding early voting, creating automatic and same-day voter registration, and promoting vote-by-mail.
- Limit the influence of big money in our elections by requiring Super PACs and other outside groups to disclose their top donors, creating a 6-1 matching system for donations under $200, and breaking the gridlock at the Federal Election Commission.
- Strengthen transparency and ethics in government by banning Members of Congress from serving on the boards of for-profit entities, requiring Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, and strengthening the enforcement of ethics violations in the Executive Branch, among other reforms.
The full text of the legislation is available HERE. A one-page summary of the bill is available HERE. A longer summary of the bill is available HERE. A section-by-section summary of the legislation is available HERE. A list of organizations supporting the legislation is available HERE.