House Democratic Majority Passes Historic Voting and Police Reform Bills (Video)

One day after the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) was expected to hear two cases threatening to unleashthe most aggressive attacks on the right to vote to reach the Supreme Court in the post-Jim Crow era,” the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed what The Guardian is reporting to be “the largest overhaul of the US election law in at least a generation.”

House Resolution 1 (HR1), or the “For the People Act,” passed the House 220-210.

Now on its way to the Senate, the legislation intends to “expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.”

Specifically, it seeks, in part, to:

Georgia Rep. Nikema Williams, holding the seat the late Civil Rights-era icon John Lewis held, stated:

“[The bill] will put a stop at the voter suppression that we’re seeing debated right now. This bill is the ‘Good Trouble’ he [Lewis] fought for his entire life.”

HR1 was first introduced in 2019, but did not have the urgency it now shares after years of Donald Trump and Republicans at the state and federal level working to make it harder for Americans to vote, particularly those of color.

A full breakdown of its sweeping provisions can be found here.

The House also passed the most ambitious police reform initiative in decades on Wednesday.

The “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act,” originally slated for a vote on Thursday but moved up due to the threat of violence on the Capitol from QAnon supporters, seeks to:

Of course, the real fight is in the Senate.

Despite holding a narrow majority there as well, Democrats require a 60-vote supermajority to subvert a Republican filibuster.

That means at least 10 Republican senators have to break ranks.

Is that possible?

Possible, but not probable.

This does not mean Democrats are pursuing a fool’s errand.

The majority of the American people support progressive legislation on myriad issues, police reform high among them after a tumultuous summer of Black Lives Matter protests following the police murders of George FloydBreonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, and Elijah McClain.

Democrats have until next year’s mid-term elections to roll up their sleeves and pass progressive legislation nearly impossible under the prior Senate.

If they do it right, if they go bold, like the American people need, they might avoid the mid-term rout that traditionally descends on the majority party.

That would put them–and the nation–in a winning stance for 2024, when rising stars of the fascist wing of the Republican party will be seeking the GOP nomination.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.