A letter to Mr. Walden on “H.R.1 – For the People Act of 2019”

Letter submitted to Congressman Walden, and also published in Hood River News (March 13, 2019) under the (editor’s choice of) title “Questions to Walden.” The letter is the first of an occasional series that follows up on Mr. Walden’s recent calls for bipartisanship . The second letter of the series can be found here. Read Disclaimer.

Dear Congressman Walden:

Two pieces of legislation illustrate the pitfalls of our political system:

  • The Affordable Care Act of 2010 was an imperfect but positive and powerful legislation, passed into law along party lines. Republicans have since been trying to repeal it, and in the process have weakened it without creating a better alternative.
  • “H.R.1 – For the People Act of 2019” is a sweeping bill for reform of voting rights, campaign finance and ethics. All these topics require attention, and there is much to like in the language, imperfect as it might be. But the bill passed the House on a strict party line vote, and it faces dim prospects in the Senate (where it will likely not even be voted on, due to Republican opposition).

We need legislation passed through a consensus building process across the political spectrum, and able to withstand the test of time. Any other legislative culture is not effective governance.

I applaud your recent calls for bipartisanship. But those calls need to be grounded onto action.

As a non-affiliated voter in your District, I would like to know the reasons for your vote against HR1. I would also like to be informed about any actions you might have taken towards a consensus bill that could have passed both chambers with broad support.

In addition, I encourage, you in the weeks ahead, to take any necessary steps to work with both sides of the aisle, to help evolve HR1 into a consensus bill or bills that address the serious issues scoped in HR1.

With best regards,

— Antonio Baptista

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