Christian magazine endorses House Democrats’ HR 1
The House Democratic political process overhaul bill has secured the endorsement of The Christian Century, a magazine widely regarded as the most prominent voice for progressive American mainline Protestants.
"Assuring all citizens access to the ballot box was once – within living memory – a bipartisan pursuit," the magazine said in an editorial posted Monday. "Given that legacy, the voting rights provisions of the For The People Act introduced in Congress in January should be uncontroversial."
The editorial touted provisions in the measure, dubbed HR 1, that would expand early voting, ease voter registration, restore voting rights to felons and make Election Day a federal holiday. The legislation seems guaranteed of passage in the newly Democratic House but likely without any votes from Republicans. At a minimum they object to federalizing the administration of elections, which has historically been left to the states, but some in the GOP have also openly derided the bill as a "power grab" designed to tilt the electorate to the left.
"If the prospect of more people going to the polls makes any politicians uneasy, they might consider what that says about their own commitment to serving the welfare of all," the editors wrote.
Is local journalism a public good worth saving?
If so, public funding could go a long way in addressing a decade-long trend of declining revenue that has forced local newspapers to cut staff, reduce coverage and sometimes close their doors.
An array of ambitious recommendations on how the federal government could save local papers are out this week from the Brookings Institution, one of Washington's best-regarded think tanks, which outlines the crisis facing the industry and why it matters to the health of American democracy.
House Democrats are continuing their push for stronger voting rights protections, releasing findings Thursday from a series of 2019 field hearings across the country on impediments to voting.
The 144-page report concludes that "the fundamental right to vote is under attack" and calls for congressional action.
But the report, prepared by the Democrats on a House subcommittee with jurisdiction over elections policy, does not include any of the views of minority Republicans, who said in a separate statement that they disagree with the Democrats' conclusions.
The usual practice in Congress is to include dissenting views in all committee reports, so the breakdown of that process is further evidence of Capitol Hill's ever more harshly partisan tone in general and its recent approach to voting rights in particular.