Rep. Davids Co-Sponsors Bill to Tackle Money in Politics, Fight Corruption, and Make Elections Fair

January 8, 2019
Press Release

In the first bill she’s supporting since being sworn in last week, Sharice Davids today announced her co-sponsorship of the For the People Act (H.R. 1), a sweeping package of reforms that will change the balance of power in Washington and put the American people back in charge of our democracy by ending the dominance of big money in politics, making it easier, not harder, to vote, and ensuring that public servants actually serve the public.

“Kansans trusted me to stop the influence of big money in our democracy and to end the culture of corruption in Washington,” said Davids. “Those are foundational issues that impact every other issue I’ve talked about from health care to gun violence. That’s why this bold set of reforms that will return us to government of, by and for the people is the very first bill I’m supporting.”

H.R. 1 makes critical reforms across three key areas:


1)    Voting Rights


·      Improve Access – H.R. 1 expands access to the ballot box by taking aim at institutional barriers to voting, such as cumbersome registration systems, limited voting hours and many other roadblocks. H.R. 1 creates automatic voter registration across the country, ensures that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full rights restored, expands voting by mail and early voting and modernizes the U.S. voting system.


·      Promote Integrity – H.R. 1 fights back against the assault on voting rights by committing Congress to build the record necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act, prohibiting voter roll purges like those seen in Ohio, Georgia and elsewhere and ensuring that discriminatory voter ID laws do not prevent Americans citizens from exercising their rights. H.R. 1 also ends partisan gerrymandering to prevent politicians from pick their voters and making Americans feel like their voices do not count.


·      Ensure Security – H.R. 1 ensures that American elections are decided by American voters without interference by foreign adversaries. The bill enhances federal support for voting system security, particularly paper ballots, and increases oversight over election vendors.


2)    Campaign Finance


·         Guarantee Disclosure – H.R. 1 shines a light on dark money in politics by requiring any organization involved in political activity to disclose its large donors, which will break the nesting-doll system that allows big-money contributors and special interests to hide their spending in networks of so-called “social welfare” organizations.


·         Empower Citizens – H.R. 1 levels the political playing field for everyday Americans, creating a multiple matching system for small donations and allowing the American people to exercise their due influence in a post-Citizens United world, while reaffirming that Congress should have the authority to regulate money in politics. The new system of citizen-owned elections will break special interests’ stranglehold on Congress and lay the groundwork for an agenda that serves the American people.


·         Strengthen Oversight – H.R. 1 ensures that there are cops on the campaign finance beat that will enforce the laws already on the books. H.R. 1 tightens rules on super PACs and restructures the Federal Election Commission to break the gridlock and enhance its enforcement mechanisms. It also repeals Mitch McConnell’s riders that prevent government agencies from requiring commonsense disclosure of political spending.


3)    Ethics and Accountability


·         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 door, preventing Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards and requiring presidential candidates 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 registration 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.