Praise for H.R. 1
“[A] sweeping package of proposals aimed at rooting out political corruption and shoring up the integrity of the electoral system….”
— The Editorial Board, The New York Times
“[T]he historic "For The People Act" … wraps vastly expanded voting rights, campaign finance reform and anti-corruption measures into a landmark civil rights bill.”
— Jason Sattler, USA Today (Opinion)
“H.R. 1 … is the best hope for ending the corrosive practices that subtract citizens from the electorate.”
— Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker
“H.R. 1, perhaps the most comprehensive political-reform proposal ever considered by our elected representatives …. is] a marker, a bill worth fighting for in the future….
“ For all the talk of Democrats being divided between “the left” and “the moderates,” this bill has support from all wings of the party. The left and center both worry about the undue influence of corporate money and billionaires on our politics. And, needless to say, political corruption is not particularly popular in any ideological camp.
“… As for the opponents of H.R. 1, they need to tell us if they think our politics are working just splendidly. I’d love to hear them try to make that case. And if they don’t, what exactly would they do to drain the swamp?”
— E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post (Opinion)
HERE'S WHAT ELSE THEY'RE SAYING
“The House passed the Democrats’ showcase anti-corruption and voting rights legislation on Friday, an expansive measure that aims to dismantle barriers to the ballot box, end big money in politics and impose stricter ethics rules on federal officials.
“The sweeping legislation, passed 234-193, makes good on the campaign pledge to clean up Washington that helped catapult Democrats into the majority. It also serves as a campaign platform for Democrats ahead of 2020.”
— Catie Edmonson, The New York Times
“The House passed an extensive bill Friday that would overhaul the way Americans vote and take aim at the money currently flowing through the U.S. political system.
“The bill was dubbed the "For The People Act" by House Democrats who want election accessibility and weeding out corruption to be core tenets of their majority agenda the next two years. The bill passed along straight party lines, 234-193.”
— Miles Parks, NPR
“The House of Representatives on Friday passed the most significant democracy reform bill introduced in Congress since the Watergate era by a vote of 234 to 193. The sweeping bill, known as H.R. 1: the For the People Act, would massively expand voting rights, crack down on gerrymandering, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and require sitting presidents and presidential candidates to release 10 years of tax returns.
“It’s one of the most comprehensive packages of democracy reform we’ve seen in a generation,” Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), the chief sponsor of the bill, told Mother Jones….
“… For now, it’s telling that House Democrats made H.R. 1 the first bill they introduced and one of the first they passed. It shows how once-marginalized “good government” issues have become a top priority for Democrats.
— Ari Berman, Mother Jones
“Donald Trump used arguments about a “rigged system” and pledges to “drain the swamp” in Washington to win the presidency in 2016. But Democrats signaled strongly this week that they’ll use the same lines against him in the next election.
“On Friday, House Democrats unanimously voted to pass a broad package of reforms on voting rights, campaign finance, election security and gerrymandering, among other topics, that would be the biggest changes to elections and anti-corruption statutes in years.
“[T]he ideas in it are almost certainly headed to the next Democratic presidential nominee’s platform, and, if the party is successful in 2020, could be one of the first issues Congress takes up.”
— Alana Abramson, TIME
“… The bill identified a comprehensive agenda – particularly in razing obstacles that discourage people from registering and voting – that has quickly moved to the top of Democratic priority lists for the 2020 campaign and beyond.
“And it makes clear that Democrats and civil rights groups are committed to a long-range campaign to leverage federal power to overcome state-level barriers, particularly across the Sun Belt, that local Republican parties have constructed, partly to delay the political emergence of growing minority communities, critics suspect, which tend to vote Democratic.”
— Ron Brownstein, CNN
“Sometimes legislation that’s not destined to be signed into law can send some pretty strong messages. Both major political parties arguably sent messages about their values in the House vote on H.R. 1, the For the People Act.
“This signature legislation had three major components: (1) tax credits and vouchers for voluntary donations to congressional candidates, and matching funds for candidates accepting spending limits, as one of the few avenues for campaign-finance reform left open after Citizens United; (2) lobbying and ethics reforms; and (3) the most extensive set of voting-rights guarantees in decades.
“Aside from its scope, what’s most remarkable about H.R. 1 is that every single House Democrat voted for it.
“And every Republicans voted against it, which means the GOP is determined to use barriers to full participation in elections — along with related abuses like partisan gerrymandering and unregulated campaign spending — to maintain its competitive position, regardless of public opinion.”
— Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine