Every House Democrat signs up to massive voting rights bill which would expand early voting, introduce automatic registration and crackdown on gerrymandering – but it faces GOP filibuster in Senate
- Every House Democrat has signed onto a new voting rights act
- It expands early voting and creates automatic voting registration systems
- In a swipe at former President Donald Trump, the bill also requires all the presidential nominees to disclose 10 years of their tax returns
- It ends gerrymandering – the process of drawing districts to one party’s favor
- It would make Washington D.C. a statement
- Legislation expected to pass House but faces opposition from GOP in Senate
Every House Democrat has signed onto a new voting rights act that would expand early voting, create automatic voting registration systems, and simplify voting by mail as some of its many reforms.
And, in a swipe at former President Donald Trump, the bill also requires all the presidential nominees to disclose 10 years of their tax returns.
It would also give Washington D.C. statehood, which would give the heavily Democratic federal city two Senators, a member of Congress and the ability to self-govern.
The legislation, which runs 791 pages, is packed with Democratic priorities and was given their top priority, labeled with the Number 1: H.R. 1, The For the People Act.
Every House Democrat has signed onto a new voting rights act that would expand early voting and create automatic voting registration systems – above voters line up to cast their ballots in New York
Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland announced Monday that all 221 Democrats in the House of Representatives are supporting the measure.
‘House Democrats are united in our steadfast commitment to advance transformational anti-corruption and clean election reforms by swiftly passing H.R. 1,’ he said in a statement. ‘Our historic reform effort will end decades of dysfunction in Washington, return power to the people and build a more just, equitable and prosperous country for all Americans.’
Republicans have blasted the legislation as a ‘federal government takeover’ and accuse Democrats of changing voting rules to their benefit.
Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland announced Monday that all 221 Democrats in the House of Representatives support the measure
Last year, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called it the ‘Democrat Politician Protection Act’ and wrote in an op-ed that Democrats were seeking to ‘change the rules of American politics to benefit one party.’
The bill is expected to be considered on the House floor during the first week of March, where it will pass in the Democratically controlled House.
But it could face a filibuster by Republicans in the Senate.
The legislation, according to Democrats, will create automatic voter registration across the country, ensure that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full voting rights restored, expand early voting and enhance absentee voting, simplify voting by mail, reduce long lines and wait times for voters and modernize America’s voting system.
It would also require all organizations involved in political activity to disclose their large donors.
The bill also ends the political tool of gerrymander and would make D.C. a state
Republicans oppose the measure – Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called it the ‘Democrat Politician Protection Act’
The bill ‘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,’ and ‘strengthens the political power of hardworking Americans by creating a multiple matching system for small donations.’
It also prohibits voter roll purges and ‘ends partisan gerrymandering to prevent politicians from picking their voters.’
Gerrymandering is intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries.
And it will require that the party’s presidential nominees disclose 10 years of tax returns within 15 days of getting the nomination. Trump was the only presidential candidate in modern history not to release his returns, claiming he could not do so because he was being audited.
The bill also commits Congress to deliver ‘full congressional voting rights and self-government for the residents of the District of Columbia, which only statehood can provide.’
Currently Congress runs the D.C. government and appropriates its funding.
Republicans have argued D.C. statehood is a political move to ensure two permanently Democratic U.S. Senate seats in what is an approximately nine-to-one Democrat-to-Republican jurisdiction.