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House opens HR 1 debate, fine print still emerging

As the House kicks off debate this afternoon on the Democrats' signature "good government" package, party-line passage on Friday continues to look close to guaranteed.

And that seems true no matter which, if any, of the dozens of potential amendments to HR 1 get adopted to alter the new majority's sprawling wish list for tightening campaign finance regulation, expanding voter registration and access to the polls, overhauling government ethics rules, and depoliticizing the drawing of congressional districts.

The 622-page legislation is so expansive, in fact, that almost no attention has been focused on some of provisions that would have sweeping impact should the bill become law – which has minimal chance of happening because the Republican majority in the Senate has no interest in even considering it.

The measure, for example, would make it illegal for inaugural committees to solicit, accept or receive donations from "a person that is not an individual," effectively banning the sort of corporate giving that has put the organizers of President Donald Trump's festivities two years ago under heightened scrutiny. Roll Call has a detailed roster of 10 of these important but under-the-radar provisions.

The ground rules for debate set by the Democratic leadership permit debate on 72 potential amendments, of which only 10 have been proposed by Republicans. Those ground rules also automatically deleted language making Election Day a federal holiday, a provision in the bill that had been subject to particularly intense GOP ridicule.

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