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On behalf of Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I urge you to vote “NO” on S. 2093, the so-called For the People Act of 2021.
There are ways to protect voting rights, defend free speech, and strengthen our democracy. But this bill isn’t it. Nearly a third of it threatens critical First Amendment rights, drawing serious concern from civil liberties groups across the ideological spectrum. These portions would gut people’s privacy — constitutional protections that have made many of America’s historic movements possible and continue to make it easier for Americans to advocate for issues they care about today. This bill does more to undermine those rights than protect them.
2093 would discourage people from supporting charitable and civic organizations that represent the voices of millions of Americans. Several of the bill’s requirements would expose the personal information of people who give to non-profits engaged in issue advocacy — groups ranging from organizations fighting cancer who might thank a senator for introducing a research bill to groups working on education reform who rank policymakers on their support for their cause. Putting supporters of groups and causes on government lists opens them up to harassment and intimidation. And in this polarized environment, even causes that aren’t controversial now might become controversial, subjecting supporters today to intimidation and attacks tomorrow.
The bill also unconstitutionally compels nonprofits and other entities to pick sides in certain issue advocacy communications. Nonprofits play an important role in informing the public about local and national issues. Under S. 2093, if a federal candidate’s name appears in a nonprofit’s TV ad, radio spot, email, or other communication about any national issue, the group would be required to state whether they support or oppose that candidate – even if they do neither. Instead of encouraging Americans to work together to solve policy problems, this forces them to pick a political team. This counterproductive policy of compelled political speech violates the First Amendment and will exacerbate the already severe divisions that our society faces.
We stand ready to work together on pressing issues of top concern to Americans. We oppose policies that work against solving those challenges. Americans for Prosperity is committed to protecting the civil liberties of American citizens and strengthening our democracy. S. 1 fails on both counts.
I urge you to vote “NO” on S. 2093. This vote will be recorded in our legislative scorecard.
Chief Government Affairs Officer
Americans for Prosperity