Democracy reform advocates have gone public with a concern they've been harboring privately for months: Joe Biden and the Democrats are not making fix-the-system proposals a big enough part of their campaign.
A coalition of 29 groups pressed the party's platform committee on Monday "to adopt a sweeping pro-democracy set of reforms, and make their passage and implementation a top priority in 2021."
Although Biden is viewed as a reliable supporter of items on the group's agenda — expanding voting rights, curbing money's sway over campaigns, bolstering government ethics and calibrating the balance of power — the former vice president is seen by advocacy groups as giving such desires insufficient notice. With the campaign now galvanized by the coronavirus pandemic and its crippling of the economy, the ability of other issues to break through could prove extremely difficult.
Progressive groups pressed the Senate on Friday to reconvene "immediately" and approve more aid for states struggling to prepare for a presidential contest in the middle of a pandemic.
A letter from 31 left-leaning organizations to the Republican majority leadership is highly unlikely to alter the calendar, which has senators in recess next week. Instead, it highlights that election funding will be a high-profile, intensely lobbied and potentially partisan issue when Congress does negotiate its next coronavirus recovery package.
Congress allocated $400 million in March to help states conduct elections this year, an amount labeled wholly insufficient not only by voting rights groups but also by state and local election officials from both parties.
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More than 100 democracy reform organizations are making another attempt at convincing Congress to take action to limit the influence of big money in politics.
A letter signed by 123 organizations was sent to members of the House of Representatives on Thursday, urging them to cosponsor a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment to limit how much can be raised and spent to influence elections. Some of the organizations include American Promise, Common Cause, End Citizens United Action Fund, the NAACP, Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG and Wolf-PAC.
If successful, this amendment would effectively undo the Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which uncapped campaign finance limits.
Currently, 139 House members — all Democrats and one lone Republican, Rep. John Katko of New York — have backed the amendment proposal. But the resolution has remained in committee since it was introduced in January.
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