Late yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1, the For the People Act, which the House first introduced and passed in 2019. The Senate refused to take up the bill when it was passed in 2019, but advocates are hopeful that this passage of H.R. 1 will lead to the bill receiving a vote in the Senate. The bill would address deep-seated issues within our democracy that impact representation and participation by protecting and expanding voting rights, making critical changes to campaign finance laws, limiting partisan gerrymandering, and establishing additional ethics rules for federal officeholders.
The bold policy solutions that Millennials and Generation Z are calling for on issues ranging from gun violence to climate change to student debt are unlikely to be achieved if we do not have a functional and accessible democracy, which means passing pro-democracy reform measures like H.R. 1 is a critical step towards addressing our policy priorities.
Brent J. Cohen, the executive director of Generation Progress, released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 1:
“Led by young Black, Indigenous, and people of color, Millennial and Gen Z voters demonstrated the political power of our generations by turning out to vote last November for bold issues and candidates that resonate with us.
It is no coincidence that since then at least 43 states have taken measures to restrict or limit access to voting in coming elections. Voter suppression efforts like these, combined with the corrupting influence that big money has had in our politics for far too long, have made the types of bold policies that young people are calling for—even those that enjoy broad, bipartisan support—nearly impossible to enact. The passage of H.R. 1 is a vital step forward in the fight to solve the issues that matter most to our generations and ensure that young people have equal access to participation in our democracy.
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