Pocan Celebrates House Passage of For the People Act
WASHINGTON, DC (March 8, 2019) – U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) today joined House Democrats in voting to pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a sweeping package of pro-democracy and anti-corruption reforms that will put the power back in the hands of the American people by ending the dominance of big money in politics; making it easier, not harder, to vote; and ensuring that politicians actually serve the public interest.
Pocan is a Vice-chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, which introduced the legislation. Several parts of bills Pocan has introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives have been included in H.R. 1, including one that limits the authority of states to remove voters from election rolls based on interstate voter registration cross-checks, as well as one that requires the use of paper ballots on electronic voting machines.
Pocan also offered three amendments to the bill that were included in the bill’s final passage. The amendments include one that creates a new, single lobbying disclosure portal, one that requires voting machines to be made in America, and one that would end the practice of prison gerrymandering. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he also secured inclusion of a provision that would require disclosure of the President’s business tax returns.
“Today, the swamp in Washington took the most direct hit that it has experienced in decades when House Democrats voted to restore power to the American people, clean up the corruption in Washington, and reform our democracy,” said Pocan. “With the passage of the For the People Act, House Democrats are making our government more ethical, expanding the right to vote, ensuring transparency by our elected leaders, and ending the out-of-control influence of big money in politics. These are concrete steps that will make a serious difference in our democracy and move us towards a system where government works for the public interest, not the special interests.”
“As an original cosponsor of the For the People Act, I’m grateful that parts of two of my bills, the Voter Roll Integrity Act and Secure America’s Future Elections Act, were included in this legislation,” continued Pocan. “Ensuring that voter rolls can no longer be erroneously purged of still-eligible voters due to the interstate voter registration cross-check program, a tactic that Republicans across the country have employed to exclude millions of voters, and establishing paper ballot and manual counting requirements for electronic voting to safeguard our elections from foreign interference are critical steps in restoring confidence in election outcomes.”
“I thank Congressman John Sarbanes for agreeing to include these provisions in H.R. 1. I’m also pleased that several amendments I offered were included in the For the People Act, including one that would create a single lobbying disclosure portal to increase transparency, one that would require voting machines to be made in America, and one that would end the practice of prison gerrymandering, which distorts representation at state and local levels,” said Pocan.
“Majority Leader McConnell should listen to the American people, stop his dishonest attacks on this bill, and bring it up for a vote in the Senate. The fact is: Republicans are against expanding the right to vote, ensuring transparency, and reforming our democracy because they know that a corrupt system is the surest way for them to win. Rather than strengthen the swamp, the GOP should join Democrats in restoring power to the American people and support this legislation,” concluded Pocan.
Pocan previously introduced the Voter Roll Integrity Act (H.R. 3091), which would strengthen voter protections by ensuring that states can no longer erroneously purge voter rolls without the knowledge or consent of active and still-eligible voters through the interstate voter registration cross-check program. He has also introduced the Secure America’s Future Elections Act (H.R. 1562), which would address election standards to protect against cyber-threats, better voting machines and provide paper ballots, and mandate random audits of ballots to thwart interference.