With a unified government, the Democrats are now focused on ramming partisan legislation through the chambers of Congress. However, party leaders are still hitting roadblocks in the Capitol.
Only one House Democrat voted against H.R. 1, or the “For the People Act,” which was passed in the House late last week. The bill was advocated for by House Democrats as a way to help safeguard election laws nationally, and provide “integrity” to the voting process following the 2020 election.
The “For the People Act” was passed 234 to 139, with one House Democrat, Bennie Thompson (D-MS), voting against it after originally co-sponsoring the bill. Thompson has been a representative from the second district of Mississippi since 1993.
“I always listen and vote in the interest of my constituents,” Thompson said after voting against his own legislation. The bill was slammed as a partisan piece of legislation by Republicans and conservatives who said that it would federalize and nationalize the efforts Democrats made throughout the election.
What’s in H.R. 1?
In the opening headline, the bill says that its goal is to “expand Americans’ access to the ballot box.”
Some of the “improvements” the House Democrats are attempting to make to the voting system include permanently nationalizing the early voting period of 15 days some states enacted in the 2020 election and severely limiting the use of voter identification at the polls nationwide. The bill also forces those running for public office to disclose 10 years of tax returns to be eligible for office.
According to the Daily Wire, the bill “addresses voter access, election integrity and security, campaign finance, and ethics for the three branches of government. Specifically, the bill expands voter registration (e.g., automatic and same-day registration) and voting access (e.g., vote-by-mail and early voting). It also limits removing voters from voter rolls. The bill requires states to establish independent redistricting commissions to carry out congressional redistricting.”
H.R. 1 now goes to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future with a moderate group of Democrats that have re-election bids on the horizon in 2022. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have both signaled support for the filibuster, which will play a major role in blocking this radical voting legislation.
President Joe Biden has also declared his contentment with the filibuster, even if flawed, which further clouds the bill’s prognosis. Either way, if Manchin and Sinema both vote to block H.R. 1, the Democrats will not have the yeas to pass it.
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