The Government By the People Act (H.R. 20) American Democracy is under siege. More than ever, the wealthy and well-connected are flooding our politics with big-money campaign contributions. Candidates – dependent on these contributions to run competitive campaigns – are caught up in a bad system. Instead of being able to spend their time talking to their constituents and representing their communities, candidates must court big donors. Too often, this also means that public policy suffers. As a result, the public’s trust in government is eroding.
There is a better way. To counter the influence of big money in politics and return power and a voice to the people, Congressman Sarbanes is leading the effort in Congress to fight back. In February 2014, he authored and introduced the Government By the People Act (H.R. 20). By providing regular Americans, and the candidates they support, with the tools they need to compete with big-money politics, the Government By the People Act would allow Congress to once again reflect the will of people – building a democracy of the many, not the money.
The Government By the People Act has three specific policy prescriptions:
Empower everyday citizens and engage them in the political process by providing a $25 My Voice Tax Credit for campaign contributions.Make everyday Americans just as powerful as big donors with a six-to-one match from the Freedom From Influence Fund, and give candidates the incentive to seek out small donors.Protect every American’s voice from being drowned out by big wealthy and well-connected donors, and allow citizen-funded candidates to combat Super PACs and outside groups by earning additional public matching funds within 60 days of an election.
Backed by 160 House co-sponsors, an unprecedented coalition of over 50 national organizations and petition signatures from nearly half a million citizens across the country, the Government By the People Act would help us return to a government of, by and for the people.
To learn more, visit ofby.us.