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First Senate Hearing on For the People Act Details Need for Legislation to Strengthen Democracy

Chairwoman Klobuchar: “This bill is about strengthening our democracy by returning it to the hands of its rightful owners: the American people”

Video of the hearing is available HERE.

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections and campaign finance law, held the first Senate hearing on the For The People Act, legislation that would strengthen democracy, make it easier to vote, and end the influence of dark money in U.S. politics.

“At its core, the For the People Act is about three simple ideas: making voting easier, getting big money out of politics, and strengthening ethics rules,” Chairwoman Klobuchar said. “These are not radical proposals. These are ideas that nearly everyone in this country agrees with and with this bill, we can make them a reality and ensure that Americans have a democracy that works for them.”

“The right to vote is a hallmark of this democracy,” said Majority Leader Schumer. “But voter suppression laws in Republican state legislatures across the country are one of the greatest threats to our country. That’s why Senate Democrats are making S.1., the For The People Act, a top priority in this Congress. This bill would combat these voter suppression efforts, make it easier to vote, limit dark money and corruption in our politics, and much more. Voting rights are sacrosanct and if Congress has to pass a law or amend the Constitution to protect the voting rights of our citizens, that’s what we should do. That’s what we must do. That’s what our democracy requires we do.”

“The Constitution promises us government of, by, and for the people. But right now that promise is threatened,” said Senator Jeff Merkley, the lead Senate sponsor of the For the People Act. “‘For the People’ means corporations and special interests can't buy the election outcomes they want. It means we don’t have to wait in hours-long lines to vote, or get blocked from casting a ballot, or thrown off the voting rolls because the government doesn’t like our pattern of voting. Americans were promised a government that works for the People—not for the rich, not for the powerful, not for one political party or the other—and this bill is how we keep that promise.”

The For the People Act would enact pro-democracy reforms to make it easier to vote, end the dominance of big money in politics, and ensure that public officials work for the public interest. Important reforms in the bill include guaranteeing every American citizen full access to the ballot by combating voter intimidation and suppression; ending the corrupting power of dark money in our elections; and putting an end to partisan gerrymandering. The For the People Act would also expand access to our democracy by ensuring all Americans have access to early voting and voting by mail.

Video of the hearing is available: HERE.