Congresswoman Elaine Luria Votes for Milestone H.R. 1 Bill

March 8, 2019
Press Release
Pushed to Ensure Taxpayer Dollars Aren’t Spent on Campaigns

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria today voted for H.R. 1, a landmark bill that would demand stronger accountability and ethics from public officials, ensure better access to the ballot box, and help end the reign of big money in politics.

The bill passed the House. As the legislation evolved, Congresswoman Luria and other lawmakers pushed to ensure that H.R. 1’s campaign financing provisions will be paid for by lawbreakers, not taxpayers.

Specifically, the systems will be funded by a dedicated trust fund – the Freedom From Influence Fund. This account will receive no appropriated funds and instead will be self-funded through a small assessment on criminal and civil fines, fees, penalties or settlements owed to the federal government by tax cheats and corporate bad actors. This inventive funding mechanism leaves the taxpayer untouched. Instead, it requires those who have broken our nation’s laws and betrayed the public trust to pay for repairing our broken system.

“From expanding voting rights to strengthening democracy to implementing smart reform across the government, H.R. 1 is a milestone that will improve America,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Our caucus worked hard to make the bill stronger and more responsive to the concerns of hardworking Virginians. I urge the Senate to pass this legislation.”

Among the many improvements H.R. 1 presents:

Ensuring Public Officials Work for the Public Interest 

  • Congressional conflicts of interest – forbids Members of Congress from serving on for-profit, corporate boards while in office and codifies rules prohibiting Members, their families, and staff from using their official position to benefit their own financial interests
  • Ends taxpayer-settled harassment lawsuits in Congress – prohibits Members of Congress from using taxpayer funds to settle any case of employment discrimination acts

Ensuring Clean and Fair Elections 

  • Automatic voter registration – requires state election officials to automatically register to vote any eligible, unregistered citizens
  • Election security measures – requires the Department of Homeland Security to designate election infrastructure as critical and assess threats to the system at least 180 days prior to a federal election; creates a National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions to counter threats; and requires testing of voting systems nine months before a federal election

Ending the Dominance of Big Money in Politics

  • Honest ads – requires digital platforms to maintain a public database of political ad purchase requests of more than $500 and directs online media outlets to implement measures to prevent ads being directly or indirectly purchased by foreign nationals
  • Foreign money ban – strengthens foreign money ban by prohibiting foreign nationals from participating in decision-making about contributions or expenditures by corporations and other entities
  • Unmasks dark money – requires super PACs, 501(c)4 groups, and other organizations spending money in elections to disclose donors who contribute more than $10,000 and forbids organizations to transfer money to keep the identity of the contributor secret

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.