The US Green Party has announced its opposition to the H.R.1 bill. Officially titled the “For the People Act,” H.R. 1 has been billed by House Democrats and strongly supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The US Greens believe that it is an attempt to “crush alternative” political parties through campaign finance reform.
The bill would require a set of national voter registration and mail-in voting standards, nonpartisan redistricting commissions, super PACs and “dark money” groups to disclose their donors publicly, create the first ethics code for Supreme Court justices, and require the presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns. Most of these reforms would be implemented for the November 2022 general election, except for some redistricting and public financing changes that would go into effect later. Senate Democrats plan to move the bill forward, but Republicans in the chamber have been very public with their pledge to fight it forcefully.
Even though the bill also includes some liberal provisions for the District of Columbia to guarantee voting rights for felons, the US Greens maintains that it is a means to curb the influence of money and gerrymandering. A key provision of the bill related to presidential campaigns’ public financing raises the threshold to qualify for federal matching funds from $5,000 each in at least 20 different states to $25,000. According to the US Green Party, it is a “poison pill for democracy.”
“While HR1 is sold as a way to get money out of politics and to protect voters, it contains a ‘poison pill’ for democracy and opposition parties like the Green Party,” said Green Party National Co-Chair Tony Ndege. “How can they call this bill ‘For The People’ when they are silencing alternative parties at a time when more people than ever are demanding more political choice?”
Tony Ndege, the Green Party’s national co-chairman accused Mrs. Pelosi and House Democrats of attempting to demolish “opposition” from outside the two-party system. Gloria Mattera, who serves as co-chairwoman of the Greens alongside Mr. Ndege went a step further by suggesting that House Democrats were trying to prevent rival parties from forming.
The bill will pass the House since the Democrats have the majority. Yet, it needs 60 votes to pass the Senate, which the Democrats still do not have. Nevertheless, the US Green Party is trying to change the key aspect they have against the bill. They will release an online, grassroots lobbying effort for communities to tell their representatives in Congress to vote “no” during the full House vote. “Instead of trying to fool American voters and eliminating minor party voices, the Green Party calls for real reforms to democratize elections,” said Ndege.