FRESNO, CA (KMJ) – The bill known as HR 1 passed Thursday on a party line vote of 234 to 193.
Valley Democratic Congressman TJ Cox speaking on the floor, Thursday said it will stamp out corruption in Washington.
It’s a key priority of the new Democratic majority, and would enact wide-ranging ethics reform, expand voting rights and mandate the disclosure of presidential tax returns.
“Special interest money has drowned out the voices of working people. HR1 is an opportunity to fix this imbalance. HR1 will ensure the people’s voices are heard at the ballot box,” said Congressman Cox.
Congressional Republicans have criticized the legislation as an attempted power grab by Democrats, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying the bill shows the democrats have the wrong priorities.
“When we were in the majority,” said House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, “HR1 was making sure tax, hard-earned taxpayers were able to keep more of their own money. Democrats did not design HR1 to protect your vote. They designed it to put a thumb on the scale of every election in America and keep the Swamp swampy.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear the bill won’t be taken up in the Senate.
The White House has also issued a veto threat.
Click to listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern:
Congressman TJ Cox released the following statement on Friday:
“I’m an engineer. I fix things that are broken. But it doesn’t take an engineer to tell you that our politics is broken – for too long, our policies have been dictated by special interests and deep-pocketed corporate donors, drowning out the voices of hard-working families.
“Our pay-to-play politics is why today we pay the most of any nation for prescription drugs. This is why we cannot, as the wealthiest nation in the world, deliver quality, affordable healthcare to every American family. This is why we are behind in the fight for renewable, sustainable technologies of the future. This is why many in the Central Valley still lack clean drinking water, and why our children breathe poisonous air.
“Today this legislation is the first step towards bringing the voices and the priorities of the people back to Congress. I’m proud to have voted today for HR1, the For the People Act.
“This bill will hold our politicians accountable to the people once again. I want to thank the people of the Central Valley for making their voices heard and pushing our elected representatives to finally do right by them.”