Dear Colleague on Defending Our Democracy
Dear Democratic Colleague,
This past week, we have observed Memorial Day and the 77th Anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. Both occasions afforded us the opportunity to honor those who fought and many who died for freedom. As we return to Session, we are challenged to ensure that, as we honor their sacrifice, we also honor our oath of office to support and defend the Constitution. We are at urgent moment because of the Republican assault on our Democracy. By contrast, Congressional Democrats have brilliantly and patriotically proposed legislation to respect the sanctity of our Democracy. I am writing to update you on the status of that legislation.
H.R. 1, the For The People Act, advanced by Congressman John Sarbanes and passed twice in the House, is awaiting action in the Senate. It is my hope that the passage of S. 1 will create a legacy for all of us who want to strengthen our democracy by:
- Reducing the role of big, dark special interest money in politics
- Stopping the voter suppression and protecting the vote of tens of millions of Americans
- Ending political gerrymandering by establishing redistricting commissions.
Our mission is to amplify the voices of the grassroots, as they vote, advocate for policy and choose to run for office. H.R. 1/S. 1 must become law in order to respect the sanctity of the vote, which is the basis of our democracy.
In addition, it is essential that H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, become law. When we pass H.R. 4, we must do so in a way that is ironclad constitutionally. This is what Congressman Butterfield and the House Judiciary Committee are hard at work on now. H.R. 4 must be passed, but it will not be ready until the fall, and it is not a substitute for H.R. 1. Congressman John Lewis wrote 300 pages of H.R. 1 to end voter suppression. H.R. 1/S. 1 must be passed now. It would be our hope to have this pass the House and Senate in a bipartisan way.
On another front, we are still hoping the Senate will pass the January 6th Commission. If not, we will be prepared to seek and find the truth of the assault on the Capitol, our Congress and our Democracy. It is a fight we must make, it is a privilege we all have, to honor the vision of our founders and the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.
At the same time, we must build a future worthy of our Founders, our men and women in uniform and our children. To that end, we are working with the Biden-Harris Administration to shape legislation to Build Back Better.
Thank you for your patriotic participation in these efforts. Let us determine that by the Fourth of July, we will celebrate the birth of our country by making progress For The People.