The Government By the People Act

H.R. 20

Authored by John Sarbanes

What’s the Status of H.R. 20?

About H.R. 20

The Government By the People Act establishes a new paradigm for the funding of Congressional campaigns. Its various provisions work together to broaden citizen participation and liberate candidates from dependency on PACs and other big money interests.

I. Empower everyday Americans by providing them with a refundable $25 My Voice tax credit to help spur small dollar contributions to candidates for Congressional office.

II. Amplify the voice of everyday Americans by making them just as powerful as big donors with the Freedom from Influence Fund. Donations of $150 or less to grassroots candidates* would be amplified at a 6-to-1 rate from public matching funds.

III. Protect the voice of everyday Americans from being drowned out by wealthy donors, and empower grassroots candidates to fight back against outside Big Money by getting access to additional public matching funds.

Read the entire legislation here. (

*Grassroots candidates qualify for matching funds if they agree not to accept donations over $1000, give up traditional PAC money and pass a threshold of raising at least $50,000 from at least 1000 small donors within their state.

How would H.R. 20 work to change the system?

By passing H.R. 20 we would totally shift the way candidates raise funds. Today they are lured to K Street with the promise of a $10,000 fundraiser. With H.R. 20, a candidate can come to your house party and raise enough to compete. Thirty of your friends donating $50 with the help of a tax credit. That’s $1500 plus a match of another $9000. You’ve just raised $10,500 and demonstrated your power!

Who is supporting H.R. 20?

Getting Big Money out of politics isn’t just an issue for good government groups anymore. The Government By the People Act has pulled together an extremely diverse collation of support because we all know that Big Money is blocking progress on nearly every issue that is important to Us; from climate change to equal pay for equal work to protecting access to the ballot box.

Supporting organizations:

  • The Us Campaign
  • Alliance for Justice
  • American Family Voices
  • American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • Americans for Campaign Reform
  • Brennan Center for Justice
  • Campaign for America’s Future
  • Campaign for Community Change
  • Center for Working Families
  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
  • Coffee Party USA
  • Common Cause
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA)
  • Demos
  • Democracy for America
  • Democracy Matters
  • Every Voice
  • Food and Water Watch
  • Franciscan Action Network
  • Free Speech for People
  • Friends of Democracy
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Greenpeace
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • MoveOn
  • National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE)
  • National People’s Action
  • National Education Association (NEA)
  • Our Time
  • People for the American Way
  • PICO National Network
  • Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC)
  • Progressives United
  • Progress Now
  • Public Campaign
  • Public Citizen
  • Rebuild the Dream
  • Represent.Us
  • Roostrikers
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Sierra Club
  • Sustainable Business Alliance
  • nternational Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • USAction
  • Voices for Progress
  • Wolf PAC
  • Working Families