Press Releases

Facts on H.R. 1

Aug 05, 2020




  • [MEMBER’S Opponent] is lying.
  • Even [MEMBER’S Opponent] knows the facts: this bill is the toughest, most sweeping anti-corruption bill passed by Congress in more than 50 years, and it cracks down on corruption in both parties.
  • What [MEMBER’S Opponent] deliberately leaves out is that incumbents like me are expressly forbidden from any personal use provisions in the bill


  • My opponent is lying. And why?
  • Because [MEMBER’S Opponent] is determined to protect a rigged system that benefits the wealthy and powerful special-interest donors and is stacked against hardworking people.


  • Let’s talk about facts, about what this bill does: It would stop Members of Congress from serving on for-profit boards, end the corrupt use of taxpayer money to settle harassment claims, and crack down on the revolving door between lobbying and government.
  • This bill makes it easier and safer to vote, and stops foreign money from creeping into our elections.
  • It ensures every dime of “big money” spent on elections is disclosed and transparent.
  • And it breaks the reliance of big donors to finally stop the corrupt pay-to-play politics in Washington without costing taxpayers a dime, but instead is entirely paid for by corporations found guilty of malfeasance and negligence.


  • Look, it’s simple: While my opponent lies about corruption, I’m determined to make Washington work for regular people.
  • That’s why since before I was elected to Congress, I made a pledge not to accept corporate PAC money — a commitment that I made to my constituents that I’m proud to have kept — and one that only about 10% of Members of Congress make. I would invite my opponent to join me in that commitment.
  • It’s also why I was proud to support this comprehensive bill, the most transformational reform bill since Watergate, which I helped lead and proudly voted for when I first got to Congress.
  • It’s for these reasons that corrupt corporate special interests would love to see my opponent elected, rather than me.
  • I will continue to fight for reform and leave it to my opponent to make false and misleading attacks.

The Facts of H.R. 1

False Statement


H.R.1 would allow campaign funds to cover personal expenses

H.R.1 expressly prohibits incumbents from using campaign funds to cover personal expenses. [, H.R.1, Text, SEC. 5302, 2(C), 3/8/19]

H.R.1 would allow candidate to get $5 million in taxpayer dollars for their campaign

The small dollar donor matching fund is not paid for with general taxpayer dollars. It is paid for by a new fee on corporations who break the law and are found guilty of negligence or malfeasance, like the BP oil spill. The program shuts down if it runs out of money rather than costing taxpayers anything. [Congressional Budget Office, H.R.1 Cost Estimate, 3/1/19; Washington Post, Fact Checker, 3/8/19; PolitiFact, 3/26/19]

This is a completely voluntary program. [Congressional Budget Office, H.R.1 Cost Estimate, 3/1/19]

To take on the corrupt system where elected officials are responsive to their big money donors instead of their constituents, this bill would allow candidates to fund their campaigns through small dollar donors. If they participate in this voluntary program they cannot accept any money from special interest groups or any check over $1,000, forcing them to be responsive to the people instead of their donors – again, with no cost to taxpayers. [Huffington Post, 1/4/19; Vox, 11/30/18; Washington Post, Fact Checker, 3/8/19; Politifact, 3/26/19]

The match only applies to donations under $200. [Bloomberg Government, 1/15/19]

Popular provisions in the bill include:

  • Bans “dark” money (undisclosed money)
  • Bans foreign meddling in our elections
  • Ends gerrymandering
  • Expands early voting and vote-by-mail options
  • Improves election security
  • Requires Presidents to release taxes
  • Cracks down on the revolving door between lobbyists and government
  • Prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to settle harassment claims
  • Bans Members of Congress from serving on for-profit corporate boards
  • Strengthens the Federal Elections Commission and Congressional Ethics so that Members of Congress can be held accountable

[Democracy Reform Task Force, H.R.1 Section By Section, 1/19]

True Statement


GOP wants to protect the rigged system

For years Mitch McConnell and leaders in the Republican Party have chipped away at safeguards in our system to prevent corruption, like advocating for the Citizens United decision and allowing megadonors like the Kochs to hide their identities from the IRS. [Senate Democrats, 7/23/19; Reuters, 6/14/16]

H.R.1 has strong ethics provisions to hold Congress accountable

H.R.1 prevents Members of Congress from serving on for-profit boards and from using taxpayer funds to settle harassment or discrimination claims. [Democracy Reform Task Force, H.R.1 Section By Section, 1/19]

H.R.1 makes it safer to vote and stops foreign money in elections

H.R.1 would provide prepaid postage for absentee ballots for federal elections and require 15 days of consecutive early voting for all federal elections. [Roll Call, 3/6/19; Democracy Reform Task Force, H.R.1 Section By Section, 1/19]

H.R.1 would crack down on foreign political spending, as well as require DHS to access threats to election systems. [Center For American Progress, 7/17/17; Democracy Reform Task Force, H.R. 1 Section By Section, 1/19

H.R.1 ensures disclosure of Big Money in politics

A billion dollars of dark money has flooded U.S. elections since Citizens United, including an unknown amount from foreign sources. H.R.1 would require all political groups to disclose all donors giving over $10,000. [Center for Responsive Politics, Accessed 12/28/18; Center for Responsive Politics, 11/7/18; Democracy Reform Task Force, H.R.1 Section By Section, 1/19]

Only about 10% of congress refuses corporate PAC money

Out of 535 voting members of congress, there are only around 60 members of congress who refuse corporate PAC money. [End Citizens United Analysis]