Tuesday, March 26, 2019

House passes HR 1 – a sweeping anti-corruption bill to get money out of politics

“HR 1 restores the people’s faith that government works for the public interest, the people’s interest, not the special interest.”

Image Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

In a final vote of 234 to 193, the House of Representatives passed a reform to get money out of politics and expand voting rights for Americans. The anti-corruption reform bill known as HR 1 was the first priority of House Democrats.

HR 1 aims to reform “campaign finance, strengthen the government’s ethics laws, and expand voting rights,” Vox reported.

“HR 1 restores the people’s faith that government works for the public interest, the people’s interest, not the special interest,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “It is fundamental to our democracy that people believe that actions taken here will be in their interest. That is what this legislation will help to restore.”

The final bill that passed included the House includes many provisions under three different categories – campaign finance, ethics and voting rights.

Under campaign finance, a few provisions include a constitutional amendment to end Citizens United, the passage of DISCLOSURE Ac and the Honest Ads Act, and prohibition of candidate and Super PAC coordination. The bill also has many provisions under ethics, which will require both the president and vice president, along with candidate of the respected positions, to disclose 10 years of tax returns along with candidates. And under voting rights, HR 1 will create automatic voter registration, make Election Day a federal holiday, end partisan gerrymandering in federal elections and increase election security.

While the bill passed in the House and Democrats feel victorious, HR 1 is said to be dead upon arrival in the Senate. Senate Republicans called the bill a “power grab’ by Democrats.

“They’re trying to clothe this power grab with cliches about ‘restoring democracy’ and doing it ‘For the People,’ but their proposal is simply a naked attempt to change the rules of American politics to benefit one party. It should be called the Democrat Politician Protection Act,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote in an op-ed published by The Washington Post in January.

McConnell vowed not to let the Senate even vote on HR 1 and Donald Trump said he would veto the bill if it came across his desk.

But House Democrats said they aren’t going to stop the fight.

“It is a fight we will not end until we win it,” Pelosi said, “we can save a lot of time by the Senate just agreeing to a vote.”

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