The House of Representatives on Friday passed House Resolution 1, which supporters say seeks to expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics and strengthen ethics rules for public servants.
In a Facebook post shortly after the vote, Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, said it was a historic moment to see the legislation pass the House. “Our government belongs to the people, not corporations or special interests,” she stated.
Hill said on a phone call Friday that most people know she was first inspired to get into the congressional race, “because the political system was broken.”
“Washington was about those who sold out to big interest politics,” and people in communities like Santa Clarita Valley didn’t have a voice, Hill said. “If they did, then we’d be able to see progress on the issues that they care most about,” like health care and restoring the middle class.
“Instead, we have policies that benefit big corporations,” Hill said, adding that’s why she focused her campaign on issues that Friday’s bill seeks to address.
“We wanted the first major piece of legislation to restore power to the people,” Hill said. “We’ve been talking about this for as long as I can remember,” and the groundwork was years in the making.
“It’s not a partisan thing,” the congresswoman said. “Everybody wants this.”
A significant majority of Americans wants to see change in the system, “but the easier we make it to vote, then the more of a threat Republicans face. That’s the reality of it,” Hill said. “And let me be clear, we are talking about Republicans in Congress, not Republican voters — because, again, they want change, too.”
“Trump won because he was about draining the swamp,” so it’s now up to senators to decide if they want to listen to the voters, Hill said, acknowledging there’s no guarantee the bill will pass the Republican-led Senate.
Mark Hershey, chair of the 38th Assembly District Republican Central Committee, disagreed with Hill’s statement Friday, stating there are more important things to work on than election-related matters.
“It’s more important to talk about veteran affairs, how to best finance Social Security and immigration,” Hershey said, adding, “It’s totally hypocritical of her to support this legislation, especially once you consider that she accepted nearly $20 million from people outside of our community to come in and derail (former Rep.) Steve Knight.”
Hershey added, “It’s amazing and obnoxious that she would support a bill like this based off her previous actions.”
Most sessions wouldn’t have made this their first piece of legislation, but the fact the 116th session did shows how serious the issue is, Hill said. “I truly believe a vast majority of Americans want to see this legislation enacted. If that wasn’t the case then many politicians wouldn’t have gotten elected running on these platforms.”
But the only way it’ll go to the floor is if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gets enough pressure, Hill added. “So, basically, people who think this needs to happen need to call the Senate and say, ‘Hey, we demand a vote on this.’ It’s just like the shutdown.”
In the meantime, Hill said she will keep pushing her agenda. “We have to continue our work. We’re going to keep doing that.”