The First Bill, HR1

The time and date of the new 116th Congress has yet to be set, but the earliest would be January 3rd. We Democrats control the House, so what would be the first bill introduced, HR1?

The bill will be a Democracy Reform Bill which aims to restore the Voting Rights Act, set up automatic and same day registration, help the states upgrade their election systems, restore voting rights to felons and prevent gerrymandering through independent redistricting commissions. It also initiates a constitutional amendment to over turn the Citizens United decision and toughens significantly congressional ethics.

But, a lot of what we Democrats propose will not become law because the Republicans still control the Senate and the White House.

HR 1 will probably suffer that fate. But, this bill and others that follow from the 2019 House will lay down markers to the American people of the direction we want to take the country.

Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress will have significant power in two other areas. The most obvious will be in the power to investigate the Trump administration. The second will be in appropriations as the Republicans in both the Senate and the House will need Democratic support to pass spending bills.

And although we in Nelson County will be denied having a Democratic representative this year, we can still support what the House Democrats are doing through House Democratic Committee. Another avenue of support could also be your local Indivisible group.

Louis Harpster