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Tue Jan 12, 2021, 06:40 AM

For the People Act of 2019 - HR 1


The For The People Act of 2019 (H.R. 1, 2019)[1][2] is a bill introduced and passed in the United States House of Representatives to expand voting rights, limit partisan gerrymandering, strengthen ethics rules, and limit the influence of private donor money in politics.[3] It was introduced by John Sarbanes (D-MD) on January 3, 2019, on behalf of the newly elected Democratic majority as the first official legislation of the 116th United States Congress.[3][4] The House passed the bill on March 8, 2019 by a vote of 234–193 along strict party lines.[5][6] As of January 2021, which also marks the end of the 116th United States Congress, it has not been passed by the Senate.[7] House Democrats are expected to reintroduce the Act in the 117th United States Congress.[8]

The bill's provisions fall into three major categories:[3][9]

Campaign finance reform. The bill would introduce voluntary public financing for campaigns, matching small donations at a 6:1 ratio.[10] It also incorporates campaign finance reform provisions from the DISCLOSE Act,[10][11] which would impose stricter limitations on foreign lobbying, require Super PACs and other "dark money" organizations to disclose their donors, and restructure the Federal Election Commission to reduce partisan gridlock. The bill also expresses support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision, where the Supreme Court held that virtually unlimited independent political expenditures by corporations, labor unions, and other associations was a constitutional right.

Government ethics. The bill would require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to disclose their previous 10 years of income tax returns, eliminate the use of taxpayer money by politicians to settle sexual harassment claims, and create a new ethics code for the U.S. Supreme Court, which is not subject to existing judicial codes of conduct.

Voting rights. The bill would create a national voter registration program, make Election Day a federal holiday, replace partisan gerrymandering with nonpartisan commissions to draw electoral districts, and limit efforts to purge voting rolls.
The bill was viewed as a comprehensive statement of the priorities of the Democratic House majority elected in 2018. The New York Times called the bill "the Democrats' signature piece of legislation".[10] Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, pledged that the bill was "not going to go anywhere in the Senate". In March 2019, McConnell said he would not put the bill to a vote on the Senate floor.[12] Sarbanes, the legislation's drafter, argued that the bill's public popularity would ultimately lead to its passage


Voting rights for felons

The authority of the United States Congress over elections is extensive.[14][15] One feature of the proposed legislation is that convicted felons could not be denied the right to vote unless currently in prison.[16] Whether congressional authority extends this far is subject to disagreement,[17] with arguments being made for[18] and against.[19] Fourteen states have laws that indefinitely deny voting rights for some convicted felons, twenty-two do not restore voting rights until after parole and/or probation, and some states require payment of fines or restitution.[a][20]

Supreme Court ethics

Another part of the proposed legislation instructs the Judicial Conference to establish rules of ethics binding on the Supreme Court. It is unclear whether Congress has the constitutional authority to impose ethics requirements on Supreme Court Justices, a question the Court may have to decide.[21] In 2011, Chief Justice John Roberts made clear in his end-of-year report that he believed Congress does not have the power to impose conduct rules on the Supreme Court, because the Supreme Court was established by the Constitution, according to which the justices serve as long as they exhibit "good behavior", or face possible impeachment and removal for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors".[22] Lower federal courts, by contrast, were created by Congress and are subject to rules Congress establishes. Because of this, some suggest that the purpose of the proposed ethics rules would not be punishment or even enforcement, but only a promulgation of rules so that Supreme Court justices can be held accountable for their conduct in the court of public opinion. In addition, a documented ethics violation could be relevant to a potential impeachment proceeding.[23] Others argue that Congress has the authority to require the Supreme Court to write its own code of ethics.[24] In 1991, the Supreme Court adopted a resolution[25] that its officers and employees will comply with the substance of the Judicial Conference Regulations,[26] subject to stated clarifications.

Statehood for the District of Columbia

Further information: Statehood movement in the District of Columbia
The proposed legislation also calls for statehood for the District of Columbia, arguing that the District has a larger population than two states, Wyoming and Vermont, and is close to the population of the seven states that have a population of under one million fully represented residents, and claiming that Congress has the authority to admit new States to the union through legislation. Others argue that a constitutional amendment would be required.[27] The question of admission of the District of Columbia as a state has a long history. Statehood for D.C. is expected to be opposed by Republicans, since it would almost certainly put more Democrats in Congress.[28] The House approved H.R. 51, which would make the populated portion of the District a state, in June 2020, on a near-uniform party line vote; the measure was not taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.[29]

Congressional redistricting occurs every 10 years as congressional boundaries are redrawn after the Census. Article One of the Constitution states that "the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations." Currently, the process of drawing congressional districts is for the most part under state control, although the Voting Rights Act places some restrictions.[30]

The 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission affirmed that even though the Constitution calls for the legislature to draw the district lines, an independent commission could constitutionally be appointed (by the state) to perform this function. In the 2019 decisions Rucho v. Common Cause and Benisek v. Lamone the Supreme Court found that gerrymandering was a nonjusticiable political question, leaving any solution to the other branches of government. In order to prevent gerrymandering, H.R. 1 would require states to use independent commissions to design their congressional districts. If they declined to do so, the federal government would set one up for them.[31]

Number of Federal Election Commissioners
Under current law, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is made up of six members, no more than three of whom can be members of the same political party, with at least four votes being required for any official FEC action. The complaint is that this has resulted in an impotent and gridlocked FEC, with important reforms being left unaddressed, such as the updating of campaign finance law for the digital age[32] and the effective regulation of political donations.[33] Some advocates for reform have blamed the Republican members of the FEC for being unwilling either to investigate any potential violations or to impose tougher restrictions,[34] and for loosening restrictions simply by signaling what standards they are willing to enforce.[35]

The proposed bill would give the FEC five commissioners instead of six, reducing the likelihood of tie votes, and would require that no more than two can be members of the same political party. It would set up a "Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel" consisting of an odd number of individuals selected by the president from retired Federal judges, former law enforcement officials, or individuals with experience in election law, except that the president could not select any individual to serve on the panel who holds any public office at the time of selection, but the president would not be required to choose from among those recommended by the panel. Some observers claim that there would be no built-in benefit for either party.[36]

Reactions and statements

On January 29, 2019, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement criticizing the Act as a "one-sided power grab" by the Democratic Party and assuring that "It may pass the House, but not the Senate".[37] He called the bill the "Democrat Politician Protection Act" in the statement.[37] He further criticized the bill for giving the federal government more power over elections, saying it would "[give] Washington D.C. politicians even more control over who gets to come here [Congress] in the first place."[37] On March 6, McConnell indicated to journalists that he would not allow the bill a vote on the Senate floor, even as he would allow a vote on the Green New Deal resolution.[12] Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2) tweeted a false claim about the Act in March.[38]

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Reply For the People Act of 2019 - HR 1 (Original post)
OnDoutside Jan 12 OP
OnDoutside Jan 12 #1
Raven123 Jan 12 #2
OnDoutside Jan 12 #3
Raven123 Jan 12 #4
OnDoutside Jan 12 #5

Response to OnDoutside (Original post)

Tue Jan 12, 2021, 06:50 AM

1. Look at some of the changes in the Voting Rights section !


Sec. 1001. Requiring availability of Internet for voter registration.
Sec. 1002. Use of Internet to update registration information.
Sec. 1003. Provision of election information by electronic mail to individuals registered to vote.
Sec. 1004. Clarification of requirement regarding necessary information to show eligibility to vote.
Sec. 1005. Effective date.

Sec. 1011. Short title; findings and purpose.
Sec. 1012. Automatic registration of eligible individuals.
Sec. 1013. Contributing agency assistance in registration.
Sec. 1014. One-time contributing agency assistance in registration of eligible voters in existing records.
Sec. 1015. Voter protection and security in automatic registration.
Sec. 1016. Registration portability and correction.
Sec. 1017. Payments and grants.
Sec. 1018. Treatment of exempt States.
Sec. 1019. Miscellaneous provisions.
Sec. 1020. Definitions.
Sec. 1021. Effective date.

Sec. 1031. Same day registration.

Sec. 1041. Conditions on removal of registrants from official list of eligible voters on basis of interstate cross-checks.

Sec. 1051. Annual reports on voter registration statistics.
Sec. 1052. Ensuring pre-election registration deadlines are consistent with timing of legal public holidays.
Sec. 1053. Use of Postal Service hard copy change of address form to remind individuals to update voter registration.
Sec. 1054. Grants to States for activities to encourage involvement of minors in election activities.

Sec. 1061. Availability of requirements payments under HAVA to cover costs of compliance with new requirements.

Sec. 1071. Prohibiting hindering, interfering with, or preventing voter registration.
Sec. 1072. Establishment of best practices.

Sec. 1081. Short title.
Sec. 1082. Requiring applicants for motor vehicle driver’s licenses in new state to indicate whether state serves as residence for voter registration purposes.

Sec. 1091. Pilot program for providing voter registration information to secondary school students prior to graduation.
Sec. 1092. Reports.
Sec. 1093. Authorization of appropriations.

Sec. 1094. Acceptance of voter registration applications from individuals under 18 years of age.
Subtitle B—Access To Voting For Individuals With Disabilities

Sec. 1101. Requirements for States to promote access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities.
Sec. 1102. Expansion and reauthorization of grant program to assure voting access for individuals with disabilities.
Sec. 1103. Pilot programs for enabling individuals with disabilities to register to vote privately and independently at residences.
Sec. 1104. GAO analysis and report on voting access for individuals with disabilities.
Subtitle C—Prohibiting Voter Caging

Sec. 1201. Voter caging and other questionable challenges prohibited.
Sec. 1202. Development and adoption of best practices for preventing voter caging.
Subtitle D—Prohibiting Deceptive Practices And Preventing Voter Intimidation

Sec. 1301. Short title.
Sec. 1302. Prohibition on deceptive practices in Federal elections.
Sec. 1303. Corrective action.
Sec. 1304. Reports to Congress.
Subtitle E—Democracy Restoration

Sec. 1401. Short title.
Sec. 1402. Rights of citizens.
Sec. 1403. Enforcement.
Sec. 1404. Notification of restoration of voting rights.
Sec. 1405. Definitions.
Sec. 1406. Relation to other laws.
Sec. 1407. Federal prison funds.
Sec. 1408. Effective date.
Subtitle F—Promoting Accuracy, Integrity, And Security Through Voter-Verified Permanent Paper Ballot

Sec. 1501. Short title.
Sec. 1502. Paper ballot and manual counting requirements.
Sec. 1503. Accessibility and ballot verification for individuals with disabilities.
Sec. 1504. Durability and readability requirements for ballots.
Sec. 1505. Paper ballot printing requirements.
Sec. 1506. Study and report on optimal ballot design.
Sec. 1507. Paper ballot printing requirements.
Sec. 1508. Effective date for new requirements.

Subtitle G—Provisional Ballots

Sec. 1601. Requirements for counting provisional ballots; establishment of uniform and nondiscriminatory standards.
Subtitle H—Early Voting

Sec. 1611. Early voting.
Subtitle I—Voting By Mail

Sec. 1621. Voting by Mail.
Subtitle J—Absent Uniformed Services Voters And Overseas Voters

Sec. 1701. Pre-election reports on availability and transmission of absentee ballots.
Sec. 1702. Enforcement.
Sec. 1703. Revisions to 45-day absentee ballot transmission rule.
Sec. 1704. Use of single absentee ballot application for subsequent elections.
Sec. 1705. Extending guarantee of residency for voting purposes to family members of absent military personnel.
Sec. 1706. Effective date.
Subtitle K—Poll Worker Recruitment And Training

Sec. 1801. Grants to States for poll worker recruitment and training.
Sec. 1802. State defined.
Subtitle L—Enhancement Of Enforcement

Sec. 1811. Enhancement of enforcement of Help America Vote Act of 2002.
Subtitle M—Federal Election Integrity

Sec. 1821. Prohibition on campaign activities by chief State election administration officials.
Subtitle N—Promoting Voter Access Through Election Administration Improvements

Sec. 1901. Treatment of institutions of higher education.
Sec. 1902. Minimum notification requirements for voters affected by polling place changes.
Sec. 1903. Permitting use of sworn written statement to meet identification requirements for voting.
Sec. 1904. Postage-free ballots.
Sec. 1905. Reimbursement for costs incurred by States in establishing program to track and confirm receipt of absentee ballots.
Sec. 1906. Voter information response systems and hotline.
Sec. 1907. Limiting variations on number of hours of operation for polling places within a State.

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Response to OnDoutside (Original post)

Tue Jan 12, 2021, 06:57 AM

2. I hope the Dems emphasize the issues as you have here.

They directly address the GOP strategy to bury the practice of free and fair elections.

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Response to Raven123 (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 12, 2021, 07:05 AM

3. Apart from necessary Covid related Bills, these are ready to go Bills and are a top priority for

Pelosi, Schumer and Biden. People should also bear this in mind for the 2022 elections and beyond, they do not help these current Republicans.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 12, 2021, 11:52 AM

4. Agreed. Communication seems to be our problem.

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Response to Raven123 (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 12, 2021, 11:56 AM

5. And a nice dollop of icy steel resolve !

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