H.R. 20: the Government By the People Act

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA)

Rep. Paul Sarbanes (D, MD)

Introduced by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman John Sarbanes (D, MD) with over 100 original cosponsors, this bill is the latest in a series of plans to offset the political influence purchased by big-money campaign contributors and “independent” PACs. Endorsed by over 40 national civil rights, labor, environmental, good government, public interest, and constituency groups, the bill would

  • Provide a refundable $25 tax credit for small-dollar contributors.
  • Establish a matching fund for candidates who agree to a limit on large donations and demonstrate broad-based support from a network of small-dollar contributors.
  • Offer candidates an opportunity to earn additional resources in the homestretch of a campaign.

Readers who have been following this issue will recognize its similarity to previous public campaign funding plans such as Lawrence Lessig’s Grant and Franklin Project and the Fair Elections Now Act. For an op-ed on the bill by Pelosi and Sarbanes, see “Reversing the grievous error of Citizens United.”

About Hamilton Richards

I retired in 1966 as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. These days I volunteer technical support for Citizens' Climate Lobby (Austin chapter), Common Ground for Texans, (CG4Tx.org), Integrity Texas (IntegrityTexas.org), and several friends.
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