NTU urges all Representatives to vote “NO” on H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2019.” This legislation is an unreasonable and potentially unconstitutional federal takeover of the American electoral system. Its enactment would stifle free speech, force taxpayers to subsidize elections, and threaten the vitality of 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations.
The cornerstone of our democracy is the promise of free and fair elections, coupled with the unabridged freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. However, H.R. 1 fails to address the underlying problems in our elections system and instead uses the heavy hand of the federal government to control most aspects of the elections process, which are properly under the jurisdiction of state governments. Our founders were wary of large-scale federal involvement, which led to the decentralized federalist system that exists today.
Every 501(c)(4) advocacy organization across the country would be harmed by this proposed system’s onerous regulations. H.R. 1 would force the disclosure of names and addresses of millions who freely choose to support various nonpartisan public-interest groups. Their information would be held forever in a publicly available government database. Taxpayers, and indeed all Americans, have a constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy and a violation of this sacred right could suppress political speech. Moreover, any American who exercises their right to express their views on particular legislation would be required to register as a federal lobbyist.
H.R. 1 would also force taxpayers to finance the political campaigns of Congressional candidates and those running for the presidency. Taxpayers would provide a 6-to-1 contribution match to every participating campaign, meaning for each qualified dollar a candidate raises from donations, taxpayers would match it six times over.
Despite its compelling “For the People” title, H.R. 1 would greatly harm the ability of taxpayers to freely write, promote, and organize to advocate for better government. This legislation would be more appropriately named the “For the Election Lawyers and Consultants Act,” as they will see the largest financial windfall should this bill be enacted into law.
Roll call votes on H.R. 1 will be significantly weighted in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact Thomas Aiello, Policy and Government Affairs Associate, at (703) 683-5700