Republicans’ Stance On HR 1 Confirms They Prefer A Rigged System (Video)

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On Friday, the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives passed House Resolution (HR) 1, or the “For The People Act,” with 100% Democratic support.

Not a single Republican voted for it.

This may come as no surprise, especially in today’s tribal political milieu.

But when we break down what HR 1 seeks to address, we get a better look into how the modern-day GOP is just fine with corruption, corporate greed, and an anti-democratic ideology.

HR 1 is broken down into three sections:

  1. Protecting and expanding voting rights and election security
  2. Reducing the influence of big money in our political process
  3. Ensuring an ethical government accountable to the people, not corporations

Section one, dedicated to voting rights, supports to following:

Section two, about the corrosive influence of big money in politics, boasts:

  • Requiring clandestine organizations to disclose their donors
  • Upgrading online political spending transparency rules so voters know who is paying for advertisements
  • Creating a small grassroots public financing matching system so congressional candidates aren’t forced to rely on big money donors
  • Strengthening oversight rules so those guilty of violating campaign finance laws are held accountable
  • Overhauling the Federal Election Commission (FEC) so it appropriately enforces campaign finance laws
  • Prohibiting shell companies from pumping foreign money into U.S. elections
  • Requiring government contractors to disclose their political spending
  • Requiring the IRS to regulate 501(c)4 organizations.
  • Requiring presidential inaugural committees to disclose funding and spending.
  • Requiring public campaign fund matching for House candidates, for which there will be a 6:1 public match up to $200 per contributor, candidates must reject large donations in order to be eligible, and they must demonstrate broad public support.

Section three, seeking to ensure accountability to the people instead of wealthy corporations, states:

  • Addressing the “revolving door” between government officials and lobbyists
  • Expanding conflict-of-interest laws
  • Banning congressional members from sitting on corporate boards
  • Requiring major party presidential candidates to release their tax returns
  • Overhauling the Office of Government Ethics to strengthen enforcement of ethics rules
  • Requiring a judicial code of ethics for U.S. Supreme Court justices

Once again, not a single Republican voted in favor of these sweeping changes to our electoral system.

This means not a single Republican is willing to go on the record favoring free and fair elections.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell labeled HR 1 a “radical, half-baked socialist proposal,” “a political power grab.”

Of course it’s “Socialist;” everything Republicans oppose now is going to be maligned as “Socialist.”

But how can legislation that doesn’t address a single economic issue be Socialist?

HR 1 is about reforming our elections and campaign finance, two issues Republicans don’t want to touch since they primarily benefit from the status quo.

As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said:

“Leader McConnell, we’re proud we want more people to vote. Why are you ashamed of it? Why do you run away from it?”

Without calling out Sen McConnell by name, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) responded:

“One senator said this is a power grab. Yes it is. It’s a power grab for the American people.”

Jennifer Epps-Addison, network president and co-executive director for the Center for Popular Democracy, said in a statement:

“In the years since the Supreme Court struck down critical protections in the Voting Rights Act, voters of color have faced intimidation, voter suppression and an outright theft of our electoral power. HR 1, the For the People Act, is a step forward in ensuring that all of us, no matter who we vote for, what we look like, or what we believe, can have our voices heard in our democracy. It improves access to the ballot, strengthens election security, ends partisan gerrymandering, and bolsters oversight and accountability of elected officials. Democracy is best when all of us can participate in it.”

On a Washington Post opinion column just after the November mid-term election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md), HR 1’s sponsor, announced:

“During the campaign, Democrats declared unequivocally that we would clean up corruption to make Washington work for the people. We pledged to reduce the role of money in politics, to restore ethics and integrity to government, and to strengthen voting laws. We now have our marching orders. The new Democratic House is ready to deliver with H.R. 1: a bold reform package to restore the promise of our democracy — a government of, by and for the people.”

Republicans are not interested in reducing the role of money in politics, restoring ethics and integrity to government, or strengthening voting laws.

Their dissent is proof.

This from the party of “patriots.”

Image credit: Flickr

Ted Millar is poet and teacher. His poetry has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to Op-Ed News and Liberal Nation Rising.