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The For the People Act: Democracy Reform

The For The People Act would dramatically strengthen our democracy by making it easier to vote, ending gerrymandering, fixing our campaign finance system, and more.

Overview

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:

Public­a­tions and Comment­ary

Read analysis and comment­ary from the Bren­nan Center and others on H.R. 1 and demo­cracy reform.

Relev­ant Congres­sional Hear­ings and Testi­mony

Hear­ings and testi­mony related to voting rights and demo­cracy reform.

Momentum for Demo­cracy Reform Across the Coun­try

Amer­ic­ans over­whelm­ingly support key demo­cracy reforms. Momentum is build­ing across the coun­try.

What About the Fili­buster?

Even if the fili­buster cannot be abol­ished, there are ways to fix it that would clear a path for major demo­cracy reform.

 

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