The Democracy Scorecard
The 116th Congress was historic for many reasons. Historians will point to the obvious–the third impeachment of a president in U.S. history and the underwhelming Special Counsel Report by Robert Mueller that led up to it. The surprisingly revealing Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s 1,000+ page bipartisan report, which outlines Russia’s concerted attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election, should be highlighted for seeing the light of day in a Senate that has been devoid of substantive action with scant exceptions. Majority Leader Mitch McConell proudly claims the Senate is a “legislative graveyard” earning his title as the “gravedigger of democracy.”
But for the long term interest of the republic, the 116th Congress should be noted as a harbinger of change. What that change looks like depends on which chamber you look at and which path voters decide to follow in November 2020.
In the House of Representatives, the 116th Congress will be known for the largest and most diverse class of new members in a dramatic shift in the balance of power. They came to Washington on a mission reflected in the For the People Act. Designated as H.R. 1, a statement of the highest priority given to the most sweeping democracy reform bill ever introduced. This comprehensive, democracy reform package includes a bold set of solutions already working in cities and states across the country. The newly elected representatives were of the people, had seen these local laws passed by the people, and seem determined to work toward a Congress that will win them for the people, so democracy works for all of us, not just the wealthy special interests.
Common Cause’s 2020 Democracy Scorecard:
- Provides data on every current member of Congress based on their votes for, or cosponsorship of, key democracy reform bills;
- Amplifies the voices of everyday Americans who have been silenced by big money in politics, voter suppression, and other tactics to block people from participating; and
- Reflects a commitment to ensuring that all Americans’ voices can be heard in our government and that everyone plays by the same set of common-sense rules.