Underwood Supports Passage of Historic Voting Rights, Anti-Corruption and Ethics Reforms

March 4, 2021
Press Release
H.R. 1, the For the People Act, will clean up corruption in politics, protect and expand the right to vote, and restore ethics and integrity to government

WASHINGTON– Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) supported the passage of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a sweeping anti-corruption package to clean up politics, protect and expand voting rights, restore integrity to government, and put the needs and priorities of the American people ahead of special interests. 

The legislation includes Underwood’s amendment to ensure that running for public office is an opportunity for more Americans by evaluating H.R. 1’s impact on efforts to boost candidate diversity. Underwood’s amendment achieves this by requiring the Comptroller General to assess and report on the effects of the bill’s voluntary small dollar financing program on the racial, gender, and socioeconomic diversity of candidates for public office. Research suggests that a public financing system that matches small donations could help reduce longstanding fundraising disparities and advance diversity in Congress. 

“Contrary to the democratic principles of our Constitution, our political system unfairly favors the powerful, drowning out the voices of many of the people I represent in northern Illinois. H.R. 1 takes bold action to deliver on the unfulfilled promise of a government by and for the people by protecting the right to vote, preventing foreign interference in our elections, fighting corruption, and increasing transparency in campaign finance. I’m proud to support these long-overdue reforms to strengthen the foundation of our democracy and place power in the hands of the people,” said Underwood. “The legislation also includes my amendment to analyze the impact of the new, voluntary small donor matching program on candidate diversity—because Americans deserve a representative democracy in every sense of the word, and too many qualified candidates are counted out before voters ever get a say. I thank my colleagues in the House for including this priority, and I urge the Senate to take swift action to repair our democracy by passing H.R. 1.”

Key provisions of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, include: 

  • Protecting elections from foreign interference. 
  • Expanding automatic voter registration and same day registration. 
  • Strengthening vote by mail, early voting, and ballot access. 
  • Combating voter intimidation and voter suppression.  
  • Fixing partisan gerrymandering. 
  • Promoting digital ad transparency. 
  • Forcing disclosure of dark money. 
  • Reining in lobbyist influence. 
  • Enforcing ethics and conflict of interest rules for all government officials. 
  • Empowering small donors with matching funds from a new, voluntary program paid for by corporate lawbreakers, not taxpayers.