Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Rep. Colin Allred (D-Tex.), and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to mark the one-year anniversary of passing H.R. 1, the For the People Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives and to demand that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Republicans finally hold an up or down vote on the bill.
On March 8, 2019, House Democrats passed H.R. 1 – a historic anti-corruption and clean elections bill that would expose secret foreign money in our politics, crack down on lobbyists, strengthen election security, protect the right to vote and return power back to the American people with clean, citizen-owned elections.
“We’re so proud of the work of … John Sarbanes,” said Speaker Pelosi. “He is the godfather of this legislation. He is the Chair of our [Democracy] Reform Task Force and just our spiritual leader of H.R. 1. And what was exciting about it is it really caught fire with our Freshmen. Well, they were our red to blue, at the time, our candidates. One hundred candidates sent me letters saying H.R. 1 should be the first order of business.”
“This is an important occasion to mark the one-year anniversary of the passage of H.R. 1 – The For the People Act….,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “But sadly, it also marks a whole year that Mitch McConnell has held this bill up on the Senate side, along with many, many other pieces of good legislation. But this is the first one. This is at the bottom of the pile, because we sent it first, and he refuses to bring it to the Senate floor.
Sarbanes continued: “In doing so, he’s not just frustrating the will of the House of Representatives…. He’s frustrating the will of the American people, because it is extremely clear, if you look at all the polling, the core elements of H.R. 1 are things that the people have a deep appetite for – whether they’re Republicans, Democrats, or Independents.”