|Wednesday, March 3, 2021|
Floor Schedule and Procedure:
Complete Consideration of H.R. 1 – For the People Act of 2021 (Rep. Sarbanes – House Administration)
The bill responds to structural inequities in our democracy that have emerged after decades of disrepair. These fault lines are only growing worse in light of a coordinated campaign at the state level to advance further voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering and big, dark money. To respond to these threads, the For the People Act advances critical reforms across three key policy areas:
Expanding and protecting voting rights: H.R. 1 fights institutional barriers to voting by implementing key reforms such as automatic and same day voter registration, early and absentee voting, and complete restoration of voting rights for individuals who have completed felony sentences. H.R. 1 also prohibits voter roll purges like those seen in Ohio, Georgia, and elsewhere, and makes our elections safer by bolstering federal support for voting system security. H.R. 1 unrigs the political system by ending partisan gerrymandering so voters choose their Congressional representatives, not the other way around.
Ending the dominance of big money in politics: H.R. 1 shines a light on dark money by requiring big political spenders to disclose their large donors, modernizing online ad disclosure, and ensuring that every political ad includes disclaimers so that Americans know who is speaking and paying for the ad. The bill also modernizes the presidential small donor system and creates a similar system for congressional candidates, strengthening candidates’ focus on everyday Americans rather than wealthy donors. The systems will be entirely funded by new surcharge on corporate law breakers and wealthy tax cheats. H.R. 1 also establishes common-sense coordination limits between Super PACs and candidates, prevents foreign nationals from interfering with our democracy, and ensures that there are cops on the campaign finance beat by restructuring the Federal Election Commission.
Ensuring public servants work for the public interest: H.R. 1 strengthens ethics laws across all three branches of government, bolstering conflict of interest restrictions, slowing the revolving door between government and the private sector, preventing Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards, and requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns. H.R. 1 also gives teeth to federal ethics oversight by overhauling the Office of Government Ethics, closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents, and ensuring that watchdogs have sufficient resources to enforce the law.
H.R. 1 passed with unanimous Democratic support last Congress.
Click here for bill text.
Click here for Section-by-Section summary.
As of yesterday, the House has completed general and amendment debate through Democratic En Bloc #3. Today, the House will resume amendment debate, beginning with Lesko Amendment #28.
Strikes Sec. 4208. Section 4208 would expand political record retention requirements for online platforms.
Lowers the Mandatory Minimum Voting Age in Federal Elections to 16 years of age.
Requires disclaimers within the content of social media posts for foreign-backed political content shared on online platforms. The amendment is the text of the bipartisan Foreign Agents Disclaimer Enhancement Act.
Speier Amendment #41
Requires large online platforms to maintain a public record of political advertisements which includes information on the total number of views generated by the advertisement, the number of views by unique individuals, and the number of shares.
Speier Amendment #42
Requires states to establish privacy programs to keep personally identifiable information in voter files, such as addresses, confidential to protect survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, and trafficking. For automatic voter registration, requires that individuals receive an explanation of what information is needed to access voter information online, how that information is shared or sold, and what privacy programs are available to survivors.
Speier Amendment #43
Extends the statute of limitations for criminal violations of Federal Election Campaign Act from 5 years to 10 years; and for civil violations from 5 years to 15 years.
Requires a sufficient number of ballot marking machines equipped for individuals with disabilities, as defined by the Election Assistance Commission in consultation with the Access Board and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, for all in person voting options.
Ensures college student voters are not subjected to intimidation or deceptive practices when exercising their right to vote in their college towns.
Swalwell Amendment #46
Clarifies prohibitions on polling places or ballot drop boxes that falsely purport to be an official location established for an election.
Swalwell Amendment #47
Adds colleges’ and universities’ duty to better provide students with voter information on the school’s website and transmitted via social media.
Tlaib Amendment #48
Prioritizes local education agencies that receive Title I funding from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the pilot program to provide voter registration information to secondary school students prior to graduation.
Tlaib Amendment #49
Requires that every polling location has available free of charge the required forms from the relevant State for an individual to register to vote, or revise the individual’s voter registration information.
Tlaib Amendment #50
Requires all polling stations to be open for a minimum of 4 total hours outside of the regular working hours from 9am to 5pm in the time zone of the polling location.
Ritchie Torres Amendment #51
Requires the Federal Election Commission to (1) study the efficacy of political voucher programs in expanding and diversifying who gives to candidates and who runs for office and (2) issue a report on how a national political voucher program could be implemented.
Ritchie Torres Amendment #52
Requires GAO to conduct a study on turnout rates based on age in States and localities that permit voters to participate in elections before reaching the age of 18.
Ritchie Torres Amendment #53
Requires GAO to conduct a study on the implementation and impact of ranked choice voting in States and localities with a focus on how to best implement a model for Federal elections nation wide. The study shall include the impact on voter turnout, negative campaigning, and who decides to run for office.
Requires the Comptroller General’s report on small dollar financing to include an assessment of impacts on candidate diversity.
Prohibits misinformation which threatens potential voters with civil or other legal penalties if they exercise their right to vote.
Requires the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in coordination with the Election Assistance Commission, to provide a uniform statement that would be included with certain leases and vouchers for federally assisted rental housing as well as with mortgage applications to inform recipients how they can register to vote and their voting rights under law.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”