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Dems Introduce H.R. 1 Featuring Key Voting Reform Concepts From Rep. Engel's Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Dems Introduce H.R. 1 Featuring Key Voting Reform Concepts From Rep. Engel’s Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Washington D.C.— Today, Congressman Eliot L. Engel cosponsored H.R. 1, the For the People Act, Democrats’ first legislative priority for the 116th Congress. The For the People Act is a broad anti-corruption and democracy reform package that will expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules at all levels of the government. The bill includes several key concepts from Rep. Engel’s comprehensive Constitutional Amendment to reform our voting and electoral system, which he also reintroduced yesterday (H.J.Res. 9).

“For far too long, our political system has not reflected the needs of all Americans,” Engel said. “We’ve seen gerrymandered districts drawn to favor partisan elected officials, increasing voter suppression, and an unprecedented flood of money from special interests. With Democrats now in the majority in the House, we are committed to restoring transparency, ethics, and accountability to Washington.

“I believe that our democracy can only function when all Americans have a seat at the table. That’s why yesterday, I reintroduced a comprehensive Constitutional Amendment to fix our country’s broken electoral system. I’m pleased that the ‘For the People Act’ includes many concepts from my Constitutional Amendment, including instituting automatic voter registration, making Election Day a federal holiday, prohibiting voter ID requirements, and ensuring that failure to vote is not grounds for removing registered voters. It also bans partisan gerrymandering and reaffirms that Congress should have the authority to regulate money in politics, pushing back on Citizens United.

“Protecting the integrity of our electoral system from special interests and interference is critical and I am pleased the Democratic Caucus has made it an early priority.”

H.R. 1 also strengthens the ethics laws and expands oversight, ensuring integrity from all levels of government. In addition, the bill would extend the current conflict of interest laws to include the President and Vice President, requiring the release of their tax returns, while closing the revolving-door loophole for members of Congress.