For The People Act Falls Short Where It Matters the Most

For The People Act Falls Short Where It Matters the Most

There is lots of excitement in the air after the House of Representatives passed the H.R.1 For The People Act of 2021. Most of the excitement is due to the potential of drastic changes to the laws and the rules governing our democracy that would inject more pellucidity, and make it more just and more protective of everyone’s right to vote. But on certain issues, For The People Act falls short where it matters the most: Who controls Congress? Big corporations or the people?

The law is annotated by 10 robust Titles, each with its own more detailed subtitles.  The Brennan Center published a guide explaining briefly what each Title proclaims to accomplish. For those interested, one hour of reading of your time makes it well worth the effort. I recommend it highly because the better informed we are as citizens the better politicians we elect.

Unfortunately, the corporate Hyenas remain loose. Congress writes the laws they want to serve their interests, and in return corporate America pays for their re-election. A revolving door of corruption like no other country practices.

THE CORPORATE HYENAS ARE STILL LOOSE

None of the 10 Tittles addressees the elephant in the room, which can be summarized in one sentence: Who really control;s the people’s House of Representatives?

Is it the American voter who expects their Representatives to legislate in accordance with their own principles and campaign promises? Or is it the big corporations whose job is to increase profits often at the expense of the taxpayers? Who should really dictate the legislative agenda?

Without a shadow of a doubt, this has been the biggest question to answer ever since the Reagan era permitted big corporate lobbyists to descend on the Treasury Department to codify our laws to serve their interests. Where do you think the notion that students could not discharge their debt with a simple bankruptcy came from if not the banks whose commoditization of these assets made them less profitable if the government did not treat them like taxes?

When it comes to corporate influence, H.R.1 fails to address this lopsided aspect of our democracy. We, the people, have no control over our Representatives. Let that one sink in when you consider how weak our democracy remains in the face of many challenges.

Unfortunately, the corporate hyenas remain loose. Congress writes the laws they want to serve their interests, and in return corporate America pays for their re-election. A revolving door of corruption like no other country practices. For the People Act falls short where it matters the most.

Meanwhile, many of the voters believe their votes count in setting the agenda of their Representatives. This is the real Big Lie.

This country belongs to all of us. H.R. 1 is a positive step forward to make that clear.

MANY ASPECTS OF THE LAW DELIVER. MANY DON’T

Not to sound negative, even though I believe corporate influence over our Representatives is 100% undemocratic, many aspects of the law address some major aberrations and shortcomings.

Whether it is voter rights, gerrymandering, campaign transparency, voter registration, or election security, H.R.1 addresses them all by modernizing our laws to face today’s realities. It does not go far enough on certain issues, such as prohibiting federal employees from awarding contracts to their former employers for two years after leaving a company. Two years is not enough. This remains a loophole to encourage corrupt practices.

Other areas of campaign finance are just window dressing. In Title IX, Subtitle C, for example, the law claims to:

  • requiring candidates to disclose whether a particular donor is a registered lobbyist in the candidate’s FEC filings; and
  • requiring those who make independent campaign expenditures to disclose if they are a registered lobbyist in their own FEC filings.

This is like giving an aspirin to cure a bullet wound. It helps make political donations more transparent, but it does not address the main problem: The people don’t want registered lobbyists to be the mega donors as well to our political system. We should simply ban lobbyists from buying our politicians. Just like in every other democracy in Europe.

Grant you, the GOP is not too happy about anything that pulls the rug from under their feet when it comes to voter suppression and control of all levers of power, but that is something they need to live with. No apologies to those old white men who have been running the country while treating everyone else as just visitors.

This country belongs to all of us. H.R. 1 is a positive step forward to make that clear.

For The People Act Falls Short Where It Matters the Most

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