On Wednesday, Democratic Representative John Sarbanes introduced the Government By the People Act, and it’s already been endorsed by at least 30 progressive organizations. According to Demos, this legislation would increase “the power of small contributions that ordinary citizens can afford to give, providing incentives for congressional candidates to reach out to average constituents.”
The new bill has four key provisions, including creating the Freedom from Influence Fund to match small contributions 6-to-1, and providing a $25 dollar tax credit for individuals who make donations. The Government by the People Act would also increase matching funds in the last two months of a general election to counter outside spending groups, and it would create People PACs to join the voices and power of ordinary citizens. Karen Flynn of Common Cause said, “The Government by the People Act is a shot of powerful medicine for the cancer of big money growing within our body politic.”
We should not give up on the fight to overturn the Citizens United ruling, and our nation must proclaim that money is not speech. But, this act can help restore the political power of real Americans. Corporations and billionaires do not deserve more speech than the rest of us, and our politicians should report to all voters – not just their big-money donors. The Government by the People Act will help make this possible, and we must call on our lawmakers to make this bill a reality.