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Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210 Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

  • The bill allows voters to register securely online or on Election Day, and prevent voter purges from registration records.
  • It would also restore voting rights for felons and expand early and absentee voting.
  • It would set national standards for early voting and voter registration.

The bill also contains a number of "anti-corruption" provisions they argue strengthens ethics rules for public servants, transparency round campaign finance, and restrictions on lobbying.

  • The bill requires presidential and vice presidential candidates to make tax returns publicly available, something that former President Trump refused to do.
  • The bill will also close the loopholes that allow spending of foreign nationals in US elections.
  • Democrats made the bill a center point of the 2018 midterm election and a similar package was passed in 2019.

The Biden administration weighed in on Monday, releasing a statement that as the U.S. faces "an unprecedented assault on our democracy, ... this landmark legislation is urgently needed to protect the right to vote and the integrity of our elections, and to repair and strengthen American democracy."

  • Former President Trump, in contrast, called for heavy restrictions on mail-in and absentee voting Sunday while continuing to falsely claim the election was "rigged."

What’s next: The Senate Rules committee will hold a hearing on March 24 and quickly move to markup on the companion bill later this month. If it comes to the floor, it will need 60 votes to pass.

  • "If anyone has doubts that this wasn't the fundamental number one issue of last year — in addition to the pandemic — but the number one issue when it comes to our constitutional rights as Americans, just look at January 6," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told Axios during a phone interview.
  • "They literally were trying to stop people from counting the people's votes, the electoral college votes that were a result of all the elections in the country."

Go deeper

Pence breaks silence to condemn Democrats' sweeping voting reform bill

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In some of his most extensive remarks since Jan. 6, former Vice President Mike Pence wrote an op-ed Wednesday condemning House Democrats' sweeping election and anti-corruption proposal as an "unconstitutional power grab" by "leftists."

Why it matters: Pence has largely stayed quiet since the Capitol insurrection, during which rioters were heard chanting "hang Mike Pence" after former President Trump promoted the claim that the vice president could block the certification of the Electoral College.

Supreme Court likely to favor Republican-backed Arizona voting laws

A person walking outside of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared to favor Republican-backed voting restrictions in Arizona that Democrats argue violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The Justices' decision in the case could weaken Section 2 of the VRA, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race.

House Dems set for fresh months-long fight for Trump financial records

Former President Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hyatt Regency on Feb. 28. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee is preparing for a months-long battle seeking to obtain access to former President Trump's financial records, per a legal schedule outline proposed by their counsel Doug Letter on Tuesday.

Why it matters: House Democrats say obtaining Trump's records would "promote transparency, enhance public confidence in the integrity of elected officials including the President, and prevent grave conflict of interests for this and any future presidents."