U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips hosts community conversation after H.R. 1 passes House

March 12, 2019
In The News

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips’ voting rights and campaign finance reform bill, H.R. 1, passed the House March 8 with three amendments.

Phillips co-sponsored the bill, and authored the amendments which, according to a news release, were to heighten the “independence, bipartisanship and diversity” of the Federal Election Commission, and to close a loophole that allowed Executive Branch officials to lobby when they leave government office.

The For The People Act is targeted at election and government reform, including increasing transparency and accountability in online political ads.

The act would require digital political ads be subject to the same disclosures as broadcast ads, that public filing requirements be expanded, and, that all advertising platforms do more to keep foreign interests from influencing politics.

Phillips, a Democrat, represents Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District.

On March 6, Phillips took to the House Floor to give support to H.R. 1.

“When I arrived in Washington I witnessed firsthand the corrupting influence of money in our politics,” he said. “Envelopes with PAC checks offered after handshakes, and a culture in which votes often seem to have price tags attached. We can do better. And we must do better.”

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has declined to bring the bill to a vote on the Senate Floor.

“This is a terrible proposal,” McConnell told reporters March 6. “It will not get any floor time in the Senate but it is important to understand what they’re trying to do here.”

He said the bill ignored election fraud, and that “nothing in the bill was salvageable.”

After the first community conversation was rescheduled due to a winter storm, Phillips’ H.R. 1 community conversation happened Saturday, March 9. Staff said 200 people were in attendance.

Also at Saturday’s event were Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, President Tiffany Muller of End Citizens United and Professor David Schultz of Hamline University.

A live streamed town hall happened 6 p.m., March 6 on the NowThis Politics Facebook page. Constituents submitted questions through Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #TownHallForThePeople in their tweets.