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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-Newark). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Booker, Menendez boost For the People Act

By Nikita Biryukov, March 18 2021 9:59 am

Sens. Bob Menendez (D-North Bergen) and Cory Booker (D-Newark) on Thursday joined Democratic colleagues in the Senate to introduce a bill that would make sweeping changes to the country’s campaign finance system amid a push by Republican lawmakers in other states to limit access to the ballot.

“Power belongs in the hands of the American people – not special interests, billionaires or corporations,” Menendez said. “Our democracy works better when it works for everyone, not just those at the very top. So let’s pass S.1, get dark money out of politics, end voter suppression and political gerrymandering, and ensure every American has a chance to have their voices heard.”

The bill, dubbed the For the People Act, would drastically alter the country’s system of campaign finance and district apportionment while also banning new forms of voter intimidation and suppression.

It would require all political organizations to disclose their donors while creating a federal fund-match system to empower small-money donors, and it would impose new restrictions on members of Congress, blocking them from serving on corporate boards at for-profit businesses.

“After years of attacks on our democratic institutions, now is the time to act boldly to make our democracy more inclusive and more accessible by making it easier for Americans to exercise their right to vote, getting big money out of our politics and ensuring every elected official acts with the integrity their office demands,” Booker said. “The For the People Act is an urgent and critically needed step in restoring integrity to our democratic process and making the ideals of our democracy and more real for more people.”

The House passed the measure on March 3, though it’s not likely to win the Republican votes needed to clear the Senate.

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