Maloney Statement Ahead of Vote on H.R. 1, the For the People Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) will join with House Democrats today to pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a sweeping anti-corruption and pro-democracy legislative package. The bill, which includes the Congresswoman’s Vote by Mail Tracking Act, will protect and expand voting rights, restore integrity to government, and put the needs and priorities of the American people ahead of special interests. The Congresswoman released the following statement ahead of the vote.
“The For the People Act has three major goals: first, to make sure that every eligible voter can exercise that right; second, to ensure that those votes are counted; and third, to put the public interest ahead of private interests by finally implementing campaign finance reforms.
“In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, many localities across the country took steps to make voting easier and more accessible for eligible voters, including New York City, which for the first time, had early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. We need H.R. 1 to preserve these voting rights gains.
“Thanks to these reforms, we saw record nation-wide voter turnout – that is something we should be proud of and look to build upon. H.R. 1 will preserve these hard-fought gains and ensure that voting access doesn’t depend on your zip code. Voting should be a celebration – not a chore or an endurance test.
“My Vote by Mail Tracking Act builds on these reforms to increase public trust in the vote-by-mail process by allowing voters to track their ballots so that they know when they are delivered, giving election officials and the public peace of mind that every vote matters and is counted.
“And elections shouldn’t depend on how much money candidates can raise and who spends the most. When I first ran for Congress, I challenged a 14-year Republican incumbent. No one thought I would be able to beat him because I wouldn’t be able to match his funding. They were right about the second part – I couldn’t come close to his spending levels but was still able to pull off the upset. But large sums of cash shouldn’t dictate election results, and it has only grown worse. With the unprecedented amount of money being spent on current elections, we need to level the playing field through campaign finance reform so that all qualified individuals can run for office.
“As I cast my vote tonight, I will have John Lewis on my mind, who 56 years ago walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and nearly gave his life for the right to vote. We honor his legacy as we continue his fight to strengthen our democracy and protect, preserve, and expand the right to vote.”
You can read more about H.R. 1, the For the People Act, here.