WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today voted to pass a package of reforms that would strengthen transparency in the U.S. political system and limit the influence of special interests and undisclosed donors in the democratic process.
Spanberger is a cosponsor of the For the People Act, (H.R. 1), which would combat a culture of corruption in Washington by limiting the unmitigated political power of special interests and lobbyists, protecting and expanding the right to vote, and restoring ethics and accountability to the federal government. H.R. 1 would also push public servants to put the public interest ahead of large corporations or mega-donors.
The legislation includes an amendment Spanberger introduced and led to strengthen the integrity of U.S. elections and prevent foreign interference in the U.S. political system. Yesterday, Spanberger spoke on the floor of the U.S. House to stress the urgent need to strengthen the security of federal and state election systems. Click here to watch her full speech regarding her amendment.
“It is imperative that we, as members of Congress, work to restore the trust the American people have in our political process. In passing H.R. 1, the House has taken a major step that would change the way that Washington operates for the betterment of the public,” said Spanberger. “Today is an historic day, and it marks a new era of elected officials actually following through on promises they made to the people they serve. With this legislation, Congress is finally making substantial progress on stopping big contributors from hiding their political spending, keeping foreign dollars out of our elections, strengthening oversight of our campaign finance laws, and working to boost—not reduce–levels of direct participation in our democracy. I’m also proud to see my amendment included in the bill to push back on foreign interference in our elections and restore confidence in the integrity of voting infrastructure. Now, I’m urging my colleagues in the Senate to support this commonsense and long overdue package of reforms—because the public interest should always take priority over the special interests.”
Earlier this week, Spanberger spoke at a press conference focused on H.R. 1 and the need to strengthen transparency and integrity across the U.S. political system. During the House Democratic Caucus weekly press conference, she called on her colleagues to take swift action to limit the influence of special interests in the democratic process, restore the faith that the American people have in our government, and pass H.R. 1. Click here to watch the full press conference.
The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.
Specifically, H.R. 1 would help end the reign of special interest money in American politics by:
- Upgrading online political ad disclosure and strengthening large donor disclosure rules;
- Cutting off the flow of foreign money into our elections;
- Committing to overturning Citizens United; and
- Demanding the special interests who broke the political system bear a significant cost of fixing it.
H.R. 1 would also expand access to the ballot box and enhance federal support for voting system security to protect future U.S. elections by:
- Promoting automatic, online, and same-day voter registration;
- Expanding early and absentee voting;
- Recruiting and training more poll workers;
- Supporting adoption of paper ballot systems to bolster election security;
- Protecting voting systems against cyber attacks; and
- Requiring independent redistricting commissions to help combat partisan gerrymandering.
Additionally, the Spanberger-backed legislation would encourage accountability among elected officials by:
- Tightening rules on lobbyists and foreign agents;
- Slowing the special interest revolving door between Capitol Hill and corporate lobbyists;
- Reforming the Office of Government Ethics; and
- Prohibiting Members of Congress from serving on for-profit corporate boards or using public dollars to settle harassment lawsuits.
Earlier this week, Spanberger also spoke on the floor of the U.S. House in support of a bipartisan amendment to H.R. 1 she cosponsored to strengthen the integrity of U.S. elections and prevent undisclosed foreign influence in the political system. The bipartisan amendment would require the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to conduct an audit on foreign campaign contributions in U.S. elections. Additionally, it would require the FEC to report these findings to Congress. Click here to watch her full speech.