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House Democrats to push voting rights, police reform through this week


House Democrats are moving on to voting rights and police reform after passing President Joe Biden‘s COVID-19 relief package Saturday. 

This week, the House is expected to vote on H.R. 1, the ‘For the People Act,’ as well as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

The votes are expected on Thursday. 

House Democrats are expected to push through a voting rights bill and a police reform bill this week. Here House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) walks with House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (left) around Capitol Hill last week 

The 'For the People Act' expands voter access by allowing same-day registration for federal elections, more mail-in voting, more early voting and would make Election Day a federal holiday

The ‘For the People Act’ expands voter access by allowing same-day registration for federal elections, more mail-in voting, more early voting and would make Election Day a federal holiday

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was passed a month after the death of George Floyd (pictured). Democrats are trying to get police reform through Congress again now that they have control of the Senate and White House

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was passed a month after the death of George Floyd (pictured). Democrats are trying to get police reform through Congress again now that they have control of the Senate and White House 

Both bills were passed by the House Democratic majority in the last Congress, but weren’t picked up in the Senate due to Republican control.

Former President Donald Trump wasn’t a supporter of either piece of legislation. 

The For the People Act was the first bill Democrats passed after taking the majority in January 2019. 

Among other things, it expanded voting by allowing for same-day registration for federal elections. 

It also made states provide early voting options and would establish automatic voter registration. 

The bill also allows for more voting by mail. And would make Election Day a federal holiday. 

New ethics rules included in the bill would mandate presidential and vice presidential candidates release 10 years of income tax returns – something former President Donald Trump refused to do. 

The bill would have independent commissions redraw Congressional lines to put an end to the practice of gerrymandering. 

The bill also tackles campaign finance reform.  

The bill is considered so toxic to Republicans that Trump, during his Sunday night Conservative Political Action Conference speech, went after it. 

‘This monster must be stopped. It cannot be allowed to pass,’ the former president warned, also calling it a ‘disaster.’ 

Trump said the bill ‘effectively ends all registration deadlines.’ 

‘Can you believe this?’ he asked. ‘Requires states to give ballots to felons. Automatically registers every welfare recipient to vote and puts unaccountable unelected bureaucrats in charge of drawing congressional districts.’

‘That’s going to be a lot of fun,’ he said, being sarcastic.   

Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, told The Washington Post that Trump going off about it was proof that it needed to pass. 

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, former President Donald Trump called the 'For the People Act' a 'monster' and a 'disaster'

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, former President Donald Trump called the ‘For the People Act’ a ‘monster’ and a ‘disaster’ 

‘You heard it from Trump himself,’ Merkley said Monday. ‘We’ve got to get the For the People Act signed into law ASAP so the next elections are decided by the will of the voters, not rigged by corrupt politicians.’ 

In his CPAC speech, Trump continued to peddle the ‘big lie,’ telling the audience he had actually won the election when he did not.  

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was first passed by the House of Representatives on June 25, 2020 – exactly a month after the Minneapolis black man was killed by a white police officer, reinvigorating the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t pick it up.  

South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott and other GOP leaders introduced their own bill that didn’t go as far as to ban chokeholds, the way Floyd was killed.  

That failed in a procedural vote in the Senate. 

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act provides federal oversight, bans chokeholds, makes federal forces use body and dashboard-cams, creates a federal database for police misconduct complaints, prohibits no-knock warrants among other measures. 

In mid-June, Trump signed an executive order on police reform that activists also blasted for not going far enough. 

In the aftermath of Floyd’s death, Trump, up for re-election, leaned into ‘Blue Lives Matter’ and ‘law and order’ messaging to counter the Black Lives Matter movement, turning it into a political wedge issue.



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