Why Disability Rights Organizations, Free Speech Advocates, 135 Non-profits, & Others Oppose H.R. 1

Mar 3, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – State election administers, former Federal Election Commission (FEC) members, disability rights and free speech advocates, non-profits, small business advocates, and others write in opposition to H.R. 1, the For the Politicians Act. Meanwhile, it's groups like Indivisible, whose sole purpose is to elect Democrats, that are supporting H.R. 1.



The National Disability Rights Network, which is a nationwide network for federally mandated Protection and Advocacy systems for individuals with disabilities, is opposed to the paper ballot mandates in H.R. 1 stating, "Additionally, any mandate of a paper-based voting system will inevitably create barriers for voters with disabilities. A paper ballot mandate would: 1.) end all voting system innovation and advancement to produce a fully accessible voting system that provides enhanced security without relying on archaic, inaccessible paper; 2.) limit voters with disabilities’ federal right to privately and independently verify and cast their ballots, and 3.) ultimately segregate voters with disabilities."

CLICK HERE to read their full letter.

Sixteen secretaries of state write in opposition of this legislation saying, in part, "H.R. 1 and S. 1 blatantly undermine the extensive work we, as election officials, have completed in order to provide safe, accessible voting options for our constituencies. Many of the proposed practices would reverse the years of progress that has been made. We are strongly opposed to these bills and hope you will dismiss efforts to advance this legislation."

CLICK HERE to read their full letter.

More than 130 non-profits fear H.R. 1 will restrict Americans' freedom of speech and right to participate in the political process writing, in part,"H.R. 1 and S. 1 would dramatically alter the First Amendment protections that Americans have enjoyed since the founding of our country. It would institute sweeping new burdens on their constitutionally protected rights to freely speak, publish, and organize into groups to advocate for the causes they support. In particular, H.R. 1 and S. 1 would impose onerous and unworkable regulatory standards on the ability of individual Americans and groups of Americans to discuss the policy issues of the day with elected officials and the public. This bill would also violate the privacy of advocacy groups and their supporters and stringently and excessively regulate political speech on the Internet."

CLICK HERE to read their full letter.



H.R. 1 is opposed by the Free Speech Institute, "On behalf of the Institute for Free Speech,1 I write to express serious concerns about the devastating effect H.R. 1 would have on Americans’ freedom of speech and assembly rights. Labeling this bill the “For the People Act” is Orwellian. In reality, H.R. 1 would subsidize the speech of politicians while suppressing the speech of the people.Significant portions of the bill would violate the privacy of advocacy groups and their supporters – including those groups who do nothing more than speak about policy issues before Congress or federal judicial nominees – limit political speech on the Internet, and compel speakers to recite lengthy government-mandated messages in their communications instead of their own speech."

CLICK HERE to read their full letter.

Former FEC commissioners oppose H.R. 1 because it weaponizes the commission by altering the current bipartisan makeup stating, in part, "We write out of deep concern for the threat that the self-styled “For the People Act” (H.R. 1 and S. 1 in the current Congress, hereinafter the “FPA”) poses to the long-standing bipartisan structure of the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”)—a concern based on our many years of experience as commissioners of the FEC. The FEC is the federal agency entrusted with primary interpretation, civil enforcement, and administration of federal campaign finance laws. The threat to bipartisanship in this federal agency should be a concern for the public, but also for members of Congress, who are among the most visible subjects of FEC scrutiny. Candidates for federal office know that the FEC is an intrusive presence in virtually every aspect of their campaigns, requiring disclosure of detailed aspects of their contributions and expenditures, initiating investigations, subpoenaing witnesses and records, imposing civil penalties for violations of its hundreds of pages of regulations, and conducting audits of campaign committees selected by the Commission to monitor compliance, among other actions."

CLICK HERE to read their full letter.



Americans For Prosperity oppose the bill citing, "The inappropriately named “For the People Act” claims to promote transparency, ethics, and accountability. The bill fails on all counts. In reality, it protects incumbent politicians from criticism and opposition, creates unconstitutional and un-American restrictions on political speech, discourages people from supporting nonprofit organizations that serve their communities, and makes it harder for Americans to advocate for issues they care about and hold their elected officials accountable."

CLICK HERE to read the full letter.



The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes H.R. 1 because it threatens Americans' ability to advocate on issues they care about writing, in part, "While the Chamber shares the goal of bringing more people into the political process, significant portions of H.R. 1 are clearly intended to have precisely the opposite effect – pushing certain voices, representing large segments of the electorate and U.S. economy, out of the political process altogether. For example, H.R. 1’s sweeping regulation of so-called “campaign-related disbursements,” regulates a brand-new category of communications that “promote,” “attack,” “support,” or “oppose” a candidate or elected official (“PASO communications”). Unlike existing campaign finance law, which regulates speech that either expressly advocates a candidate’s election or defeat or that mentions a candidate in relatively close temporal proximity to an election, the vague and overly broad new definition of PASO communications applies year-round and threatens to consume any legislative advocacy that dares mention an elected official."

CLICK HERE to read the full letter.

117th Congress