Civil Rights And Liberties
I believe we can keep our nation secure without over-broad authorities that allow intelligence agencies and others to violate Americans’ privacy and data security, and undermine Constitutional protections. I am a cosponsor of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act to end the dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records and to provide more safeguards for warrantless surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act. I have also introduced legislation to reform U.S. national security laws and have voted to end the NSA’s indiscriminate surveillance of American citizens.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was one of the most significant legislative achievements of the Civil Rights movement. All Americans must have equal access to the polls and an opportunity to have their voices heard.
As a member of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, I have worked in Congress to help restore protections undermined by the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act. I am a cosponsor of the Voting Rights Advancement Act to protect all Americans’ right to vote, and of the Voting Rights Amendment Act, which would require, among other things, jurisdictions with a recent record of repeated Voting Rights Act violations to pre-clear election law changes. These and other important voting rights protections are included in H.R. 1, which I am cosponsoring in the 116th Congress.
H.R. 1, the For The People Act, is House Democrats’ transformative legislation to restore transparency, ethics, and unity to government, so that we can honor the public’s trust and put the power back in the hands of the people:
In March 2015 and again this year, I traveled with congressional colleagues to Selma, Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama for a civil rights pilgrimage focused on the historical struggle to win voting rights. These inspiring experiences only strengthened my commitment to securing the right to vote for all Americans. You can read more about my first trip to Selma HERE.
I believe the growing influence of money in politics, particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, has compromised our political system and our democracy by allowing corporations and secret groups of donors to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections.
I was a cosponsor of the Democracy for All Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous 2010 Citizens’ United decision. I am a cosponsor of another solution, the Government by the People Act, which would amplify the voices of average Americans and help level the playing field.
I’m also a cosponsor of H.R. 1, which would reduce the role of big money in politics, advance fair elections by strengthening the Voting Rights Act, and restore ethics and integrity to Washington.