Biden should use his first State of the Union address to commit to passing the For the People Act
The State of the Union is an opportunity for the current president to lay out their priorities to the American people. There is no better opportunity than the State of the Union for the president to offer their vision for our country, and our shared commitment to our democracy. This year, Joe Biden must use his first State of the Union address to tell the American people what he’s going to do to help create a democracy that, for the first time, works by, of, and for the people.
President Biden can start with a full-throated endorsement of the For the People Act, which passed the House of Representatives on March 3. This bill is a transformative structural democracy reform bill that would end partisan gerrymandering, protect access to the ballot, get big money out of politics, and much, much more.
This is an all hands on deck moment. After record-breaking turnout in the November election that handed Democrats the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, Republican state legislatures went to work to ensure that never happened again — by proposing hundreds of racist voter suppression bills that will do nothing other than shut out millions of voters (mostly Black and brown voters) from participating in our democracy. If we do not pass the For the People Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, or the D.C. statehood bill, our Congress will shrink further and further into extremist conservative, minority control — despite millions of voters rejecting the politicians who represent those extreme points of view.
President Biden has already shared his support for the For the People Act on social media and in a press release. But the American people need to hear from him directly. And his first State of the Union address is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge that, although our democracy has taken a series of pretty devastating body blows over the last four years, there is a solution on the horizon. It’s the For the People Act, and Democrats should stop at nothing to get this bill signed into law.