US House passes voting rights and anti-corruption bill

The US House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday seeking to expand voting rights and curb government corruption.

The “For the People Act” passed mostly along party lines with a vote of 220-210. Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi was the lone Democrat who voted against the measure.

The 791-page bill includes gerrymandering reform that requires independent commissions established by states to develop and enact redistricting plans. Currently, several states have created independent commissions to draw the new electoral maps, but the majority of states still keep redistricting authority within the power of state legislatures.

The For the People Act also further restricts the ability of candidates to coordinate with political action committees and requires candidates to report foreign contacts to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Swiftly passing [this bill] sends a strong signal to the American people about our unwavering and longstanding commitment to enact transformational anti-corruption and clean election reforms,” Sponsor Representative John Sarbanes tweeted Wednesday morning.

Several Republicans expressed concern with the legislation. Former vice president Mike Pence stated that, if passed, the bill will “increase opportunities for election fraud” and “further erode confidence in our elections.”

Now the For the People Act moves to the Senate, but, unlike the House, where a simple majority is needed for passage, the bill would likely need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.