Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.1, the For The People Act. The final bill included numerous additions and amendments that were led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07).
Introduced at the start of the 116th Congress, this historic reform package will end the culture of corruption in Washington, reduce the role of money in politics and ultimately return the power back to the American people.
“Our political system has become engulfed by the privileged and powerful, drowning out the voices, experiences and needs of everyday Americans and their families. There is a desperate need for a comprehensive plan to restore our democracy,” said Representative Jayapal. “This is not a partisan issue – we should all be in agreement on the necessity of clean and fair elections, curbing the influence of big money in politics and demanding accountability from public officials. H.R. 1 is a bold package of reforms that will put American people first and restore ethics and integrity to our democracy.”
H.R. 1 Amendments Led By Rep. Jayapal
- Business Tax Returns: Incorporated into the manager’s amendment of H.R. 1, this amendment requires the President, Vice President and candidates for these positions to disclose 10 years of business tax returns.
- Democracy Vouchers: Incorporated into the base text of the bill, Congresswoman Jayapal and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene introduced H.R. 1613, the “Democracy Dollars Act,” to direct the Federal Election Commission to carry out a voucher pilot program under which individuals may use vouchers to make small dollar contributions to political candidates. This is based on the model used in the City of Seattle.
- Divestment: Incorporated into the rules text, Congresswoman Jayapal and Congresswoman Katherine Clark introduced H.R. 1481, the “Presidential Accountability Act,” to change the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to require the President and Vice President to divest and disclose their business interests, including the name of every person they are in business with and the assets and liabilities of every business in which they have a significant financial interest. This information is critical to guard against financial conflicts of interest.
- Foreign Lobbying Ban: Approved by voice vote during the amendment process on the House Floor, this amendment would stop lobbyists from receiving compensation for work on behalf of foreign governments with gross human rights violations.
- Apply Ethics Laws to Unpaid Executive Branch Staff: Approved by voice vote during the amendment process on the House Floor, this amendment would apply ethics laws, including laws that prohibit employees from participating in matters in which they have a financial interest or from misusing their official positions, to unpaid employees of the Executive Office of the President and the White House.
- Legal Defense Fund: Approved by voice vote during the amendment process on the House Floor, this directs the Office of Government Ethics to close loopholes and eliminate conflicts of interest in legal defense funds like President Trump’s “Patriot Fund”. The regulations would set basic requirements on transparency and ensure that federal employees cannot obtain money from prohibited sources.
- Foreign Agents Registration Act Online Database: Incorporated into the rules text, Congresswoman Jayapal introduced H.R. 1566 to amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 to ensure online searchable access to the registration statements filed under this Act.
Issues: Government Reform & Ethics