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Press release/statement

Demos Praises Introduction of The Government By the People Act

WASHINGTON DC — Today, Demos applauded Leader Pelosi and Representative Sarbanes for co-sponsoring H.R. 20, The Government by the People Act, new legislation aimed at raising the voices of all Americans in the political process and allowing congressional candidates to run competitive campaigns by relying on small dollar contributions.

“Everyone should have an equal say in our democracy through the principle of one person, one vote—not one dollar, one vote,” said Heather McGhee, incoming President of Demos.  

READ: Demos Explainer on The Government By the People Act

McGhee continued: “Demos strongly supports the Government By the People Act because it will raise up the voices of all Americans, encourage politicians to pay attention to ordinary constituents, not just wealthy donors, and move us closer to a true democracy in which the strength of a citizen’s voice no longer depends upon the size of her bank account. And, the proposal will fight the increasing loss of faith in the legitimacy of our democracy, as more and more Americans accurately perceive that the game is rigged and their representatives are more accountable to their donors than to their voters.

This bill couldn’t come at a more critical time.

“This bill couldn’t come at a more critical time when the prosperity gap is becoming a chasm and opportunity and mobility are stalled.  We must have a democracy that provides an equal say for all if we want an economy that provides an equal chance for all.”  

Here’s how the Government By the People Act would work:

  • People would be encouraged to give small contributions through two parts of the proposal:

    • Contributions of $1 to $150 would be matched on a six-to-one basis by a newly-created “Freedom from Influence Fund.” Large contributions would not qualify.

    • Small donors would be eligible for a $25 “My Voice” refundable tax credit.

  • Each candidate’s money from the new fund would be capped, and there would be strict enforcement of campaign finance laws, including disclosure of all donations.

For more information on how the legislation would work please see our Demos Explainer.