Statement ● For The People
For Immediate Release: 
March 6, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the Floor today in support of H.R. 1, the For The People Act. Below is a link to the video and excerpts from his remarks:

Click here to watch the full remarks.

“I thank [Committee on House Administration Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren] for her leadership on this bill, H.R. 1. I thank Mr. [John] Sarbanes for being the principal sponsor and proponent of H.R. 1, and I rise as the sponsor of... the Help America Vote Act in 2002, which responded to the lack of performance of our voting system in the 2000 election – hanging chads and all. This bill expands upon that.”

“Last December, I delivered a speech outlining House Democrats' plans to renew faith in government by enacting a series of reforms to increase transparency, accountability, and ethics reform. This week, after extensive hearings and lots of witnesses, we bring to the Floor a legislative package of reforms that make good on our promises to the American people last year. We didn't make a secret of this. This was well-known to everybody, and they gave us the Majority of this House. And we are redeeming today that honor and that responsibility.”

“I want to thank, again, Representative Sarbanes and the co-sponsors of this bill – every single Democratic Member. I want to thank [Representative] John Lewis, a giant of a man, a giant of principle, a giant who risked his very life to make sure that the protections in this bill would be available to every American and that we would promote, not prevent, accessibility to the voting booth… This bill was driven in large part by our dynamic freshman class, who were elected on a platform of making government work once again for the people.”

“This For the People Act will open government up in several critical ways. First, it includes real national redistricting reform… It must be a uniform process across all states. H.R. 1, the For The People Act, achieves this by requiring a nonpartisan redistricting commission to oversee the process in every state. What does that mean? It means the politicians will not do it... We'll have a fair redistricting process.”

“Next, this bill includes a much-needed expansion of voting rights to protect our democracy. It would institute automatic voter registration. In America, if you're an American citizen, you ought to have the right to vote and government ought not to make it difficult for you to exercise that right. No eligible voter should ever be turned away from his or her polling place. It would also restore the vote to those who have paid their debt to society and should have a voice in their representative government.”

“This legislation builds on the important bipartisan work we did in 2002 when we passed, as I pointed out, the Help America Vote Act… It reauthorizes the Election Assistance Commission, which is critically important to ensuring modern, accessible, and secure elections.”

“In addition, H.R. 1 will make campaign finance more transparent, requiring super-PACs to disclose their donors. And again, I want to congratulate my colleague. We're very proud of [Representative] John Sarbanes and his dad [former Senator Paul Sarbanes] in Maryland. He has been indefatigable in his work in trying to make sure that it is the people's interest and not the financial interests that control our elections… This bill will end the era of massive amounts of dark, unaccountable money in funding ads and campaigns.”

“The For the People Act will also impose higher ethical standards on America's highest elected officials… Among other new requirements, the President and Vice President will be required to release 10 years worth of tax returns.”

“In such ways, H.R. 1 will make strides, Mr. Speaker, in restoring the trust in government that has unfortunately been lost in recent years. Americans need to know that their government works for them and can be a force for good for their families, their communities, and our country.”

“I rise in strong support of this legislation… because I think it is an excellent effort to redeem the promise of America and our democracy. It is For the People. Let us vote For the People.”