American democracy is in urgent need of repair. Baseless allegations of voter fraud, propagated by Donald Trump and his allies, drove an insurrectionary mob to storm the Capitol in a violent attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The attack on the Capitol was the result of longstanding efforts to disenfranchise millions of American voters, especially Black and brown voters — efforts that predate President Trump and will continue after his departure from office.
The guardrails that protect our democratic system must be strengthened so they can withstand future threats. The 2020 election was the second in a row to feature truly historic levels of turnout, but also once again exposed many weaknesses, including increasingly brazen voter suppression efforts, extreme gerrymandering that distorted too many congressional races, and a campaign finance system dominated by the tiny group of major political donors able to write checks for $100,000 or more and by record levels of anonymous dark money.
We cannot solve the many problems facing our country, from economic inequality, to healthcare access, to the global climate emergency, without ensuring that our political system is responsive to the needs and priorities of the American people. In particular, we cannot achieve full racial justice without a system in which all Americans have the chance to advocate for themselves through the political process.
The For the People Act, which passed the House on March 3rd as H.R. 1 and has been designated S. 1 in the Senate, would be the most significant democracy reform in the past half century. It is supported by a broad national coalition because it would make our democracy fairer, stronger, and more inclusive by, among other things, expanding voting rights, overhauling our campaign finance system, and ending extreme partisan gerrymandering. The House passed the previous version of the For the People Act in 2019 by a substantial margin; while it stalled in the Senate, it was co-sponsored by all 47 Senate Democrats. Now, the new Congress is poised to advance this historic legislation.
As President Biden said at his inaugural address, our democracy is both precious and fragile. Passing the For the People Act is an opportunity to ensure that it flourishes.
To learn more about the For the People Act, check out the following resources:
Read analysis and commentary from the Brennan Center and others on H.R. 1 and democracy reform.
Hearings and testimony related to voting rights and democracy reform.
Americans overwhelmingly support key democracy reforms. Momentum is building across the country.
Even if the filibuster cannot be abolished, there are ways to fix it that would clear a path for major democracy reform.