WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on H.R. 1, a bill to restore the rights of working people, limit the power of the corrupt, and expand voting rights:
“Since our country’s inception, Americans have worked hard for the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which was imbedded in the Declaration of Independence and enabled in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. And while we have had dark stains—like slavery and lynchings of African-Americans, the internment and detention of Japanese-Americans, and the lack of the vote for women until 1920—our fight for justice and voice, and a better life for all, has been the precept of our democracy.
“Unfortunately, this view that our democracy is fundamental to all of us has frayed in the last few years, as we have seen the erosion of voting rights, the influence of big money in campaigns, and the loosening or ignoring of ethics rules and conduct.
“That is why H.R.1 is absolutely essential. It ensures the soul of our democracy is intact. The legislation addresses the very real threats to our democracy by strengthening the government’s ethics laws, putting important restrictions on campaign finance regulations, and expanding voting rights so all Americans can have a voice at the ballot box. Last November, the American people voted for a check on Donald Trump’s agenda. And with this bill, the leaders they elected to protect our democratic institutions are doing the job they were elected to do.”