Cartwright Statement on the Introduction of H.R. 1, the House Democrats’ Political System Reform Bill
Scranton, PA – Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright released the following statement on the introduction of H.R. 1, the For the People Act:
“When government and the political system don’t work for everyday Americans, people have a right to demand change. The House Democrats’ H.R. 1 is the answer to that demand, and I’m proud to be an original cosponsor. I look forward to voting for it and promoting it to my colleagues in the Senate.”
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H.R. 1 was introduced in the House on January 3, the first day of the 116th Congress. The bill would:
· Make it easier to be and stay registered vote and to vote early or by absentee;
· Add new safeguards to make sure everyone’s vote counts and that our elections are free from outside tampering;
· Stop partisan gerrymandering;
· Get dark and foreign money out of politics;
· Clean up false political ads, increase the disclosure of who pays for political ads of all kinds, and get serious about penalizing campaign law violations;
· Raise the standards of ethical conduct for Supreme Court nominees, registered foreign agents, and lobbyists; and
· Crack down on conflicts of interest and raise the standards of ethical conduct for Members of Congress, the president, and the president’s cabinet.
More detailed summary:
MAKE IT EASIER, NOT HARDER, TO VOTE
Improve Access – H.R. 1 expands access to the ballot box by taking aim at institutional barriers to voting. Patchwork and cumbersome registration systems, disenfranchisement and limited voting hours are roadblocks to a more participate democracy. H.R. 1 will create automatic voter registration across the country; ensure that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full rights restored; expand early voting and simplify absentee voting; and modernize the U.S. voting system.
Promote Integrity – H.R. 1 commits Congress to build the record necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act; prohibits voter roll purges like those seen in Ohio, Georgia, and elsewhere; and ends partisan gerrymandering to prevent politicians from picking their voters.
Ensure Security – H.R. 1 ensures that American elections are decided by American votes without interference by enhancing federal support for voting system security, particularly paper ballots; increasing oversight over election vendors; and requiring the development of a national strategy to protect U.S. democratic institutions.
END THE DOMINANCE OF BIG MONEY IN OUR POLITICS
Guarantee Disclosure – H.R. 1 shines a light on dark money in politics by upgrading online political ad disclosure and requiring all organizations involved in political activity to disclose their large donors. H.R. 1 also breaks the so-called ‘nesting-doll’ sham that allows big-money contributors and special interests to hide the true funding source of their political spending.
Empower Citizens – H.R. 1 gives political power to everyday Americans, creating a multiple-matching system for small donations, thereby allowing the American people to exercise their due influence in our politics. This new, 21st century system of citizen-owned elections will break special interests’ stranglehold on Congress and lay the groundwork for an agenda that serves the American people. H.R. 1 also reaffirms that Congress should have the authority to regulate money in politics, pushing back on the wrongheaded Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court.
Strengthen Oversight – H.R. 1 ensures that there are cops on the campaign finance beat who will enforce the laws on the books. H.R. 1 tightens rules on super PACs and restructures the Federal Election Commission to break the gridlock and enhances its enforcement mechanisms. It also repeals Mitch McConnell’s riders that prevent government agencies from requiring commonsense disclosure of political spending.
ENSURE PUBLIC OFFICIALS WORK FOR THE PUBLIC INTERST
Fortify Ethics Law – H.R. 1 breaks the influence economy in Washington and increases accountability by expanding conflict of interest law and divestment requirements; slowing the revolving foot; preventing Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards; and requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns.
Impose Greater Ethics Enforcement – H.R. 1 gives teeth to federal ethics oversight by overhauling the Office of Government Ethics closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents; ensuring watchdogs have sufficient resources to enforce the law; and creating a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
Rep. Matt Cartwright represents Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike Counties and portions of Luzerne and Monroe Counties. Cartwright serves on the House Committee on Appropriations and is a Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.