CWA Applauds Government By the People Act

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Washington, D.C. -- The Communications Workers of America (CWA) applauds the introduction of H.R. 20, the Government By the People Act. The legislation was unveiled today by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The bill is an important step in reducing the influence of moneyed special interests in politics and would put our elections back into the hands of everyday Americans.

“We the people want to be heard,” said CWA President Larry Cohen. “Corporations, Super PACs and Dark Money give a big voice to the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the rest of us. This uncontrolled spending threatens the democratic voice that is the foundation of our country. Increasingly, ordinary Americans are expressing a growing conviction that their votes don’t count, that our political process is controlled by the biggest bankroll, and that money, not the public interest, sets policies and priorities in government.”

The Government By the People Act would change how we finance our elections by encouraging candidates to rely on a large number of small donations from their constituents back home, as opposed to funds from extremely wealthy donors, special interests, lobbyists, Wall Street and big business. It would empower ordinary voters and hold members of Congress accountable to the people who put them in office, not the biggest bankroll.

Here is how it would work:

  • Contributions of $1 to $150 would be matched on a six-to-one basis by a newly-created “Freedom from Influence Fund.” Large contributions would not qualify for any match. The fund would be financed by closing corporate tax loopholes.
  • The first $25 contributed by small donors would qualify for a “My Voice” refundable tax credit.
  • Every candidate’s contributions from the new fund would be capped, and there would be strict enforcement of campaign finance laws, including disclosure of all donations.

Learn more about the Government By the People Act at www.ofby.us


Contact Candice Johnson or Kendra Chaikind, CWA Communications, 202-434-1168, cjohnson@cwa-union.org and kchaikind@cwa-union.org