House Democrats to Introduce a Massive Voting Rights and Anti-Corruption Bill

January 4, 2019, 1:30 PM UTC

In a move to take the ethics high ground, House Democrats, under newly re-elected Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), will introduce a massive bill nicknamed the “For the People Act,” according to the Associated Press. The bill would focus on campaign finance and election reforms.

Democrats have scheduled to debut the bill in a press conference on Friday, Jan. 4 at 11 a.m. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) said the bill “sets the table” for the party, AP reported.

The bill would create automatic voter registration, restore voting rights for ex-prisoners, and require paper ballots to address claims of voter suppression during the latest election cycle. It would also restore protections from the 1965 Voting Rights Act, weakened by a 2013 Supreme Court decision. States would have to establish independent organizations to establish redistricting, undercutting gerrymandering that favored a party’s hold on power.

Political groups would have to disclose donors, restricting the ability to use so-called dark money, and House races would have a public financing system. Congress members could not serve on corporate boards or use tax money to settle employment discrimination cases.

In addition, presidential candidates would have to release 10 years of tax returns. Donald Trump has refused to release any of his returns.

But although the House is expected to send the bill to the Senate by the middle of February, according to ABC News, the measures are largely symbolic. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who ultimately controls what can be considered, has already said, “That’s not going to go anywhere in the Senate.”