House Democrats announced universal support for a bill that would block GOP efforts to make it harder to vote.
House Democrats on Monday announced that every single member of their caucus is supporting H.R. 1, a sweeping pro-democracy bill that expands "access to the ballot box" and works to "reduce the influence of big money in politics," according to the bill's text.
"House Democrats are united in our steadfast commitment to advance transformational anti-corruption and clean election reforms by swiftly passing H.R. 1," Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), the original sponsor of the bill, said in a news release. "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."
H.R.1, officially titled the "For the People Act," mandates that:
- All states allow Americans to register to vote online;
- All states implement automatic voter registration for federal elections;
- And makes it harder for states to purge voters from the voting rolls.
The announcement that every House Democrat supports H.R.1 comes as Republican state legislatures across the country have introduced a slew of voter suppression bills that would make it harder to register to vote and cast ballots in numerous ways, including by limiting the time frame voters have to register to vote, blocking people from voting by mail, and shortening the length of early voting periods.
The latest effort to suppress the vote follows the torrent of misinformation pushed by Donald Trump and his GOP allies about "fraud" in the 2020 election — the excuse Trump and his supporters concocted to explain away his landslide loss to President Joe Biden.
If passed, H.R.1 would likely block these measures.
The House passed H.R.1 last Congress. However, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would not put the bill up for a vote on the Senate floor, part of his promise to block every Democratic bill.
Now that Democrats control the Senate, the bill will be put to the floor for a vote. However, it's unclear whether it could garner the 60 votes necessary for passage, thanks to the filibuster.
The bill is overwhelmingly popular, with a Data for Progress poll from late January finding 67% of Americans in support of it.
House Democrats plan to put the bill on the floor for a vote the first week of March, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote in a "Dear Colleague" letter on Feb. 16.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.