ADAM'S PLANS FOR THE SENATE
RESTORING THE VOTE
Ending Voter Suppression Across the Country
Republicans in state legislatures across the nation are engaged in an all-out assault on our democracy, enacting highly restrictive voter suppression and subversion laws designed to disenfranchise voters – particularly Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous voters. That’s why we must pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and strengthen our commitment to ensuring voters are able to exercise their right to make their voices heard.
Making Voting Easy
Voting is a right – and it shouldn’t be hard to exercise. For too long, state legislatures and governors have sought to restrict not only who can vote, but also how they can vote – weakening our democracy and reducing citizen participation. We should make Election Day a national federal holiday so everyone can vote, including hard-working families that may not get time off. We should automatically register all voters through government agencies like the DMV and create an online voter registration system. We should guarantee the ability for everyone to vote by mail if they choose, and require all states to offer same-day registration in federal elections.
Eliminating the Gerrymander
Republicans have long abused the redistricting process to increase their power, and then used that power to enact draconian policies that the majority of people do not support. In some states, Democrats have also abused the power to write the lines of their own districts. We need to end this nefarious practice – just like California did – by passing the For the People Act to empower voters and strengthen our democracy by banning the practice of partisan gerrymandering so voters’ voices – not politicians’ partisan interests – are heard at the ballot box.
Restoring the Vote to those Who Have Served Their Time
Laws restricting voting rights for those convicted of an offense are Jim Crow-era relics that disproportionately restrict the rights of people of color and other marginalized communities. And in recent years, they’ve expanded in many states, not receded. It’s time to get rid of these laws and restore the right to vote to those who have served their time and have returned to society.
MAKING OUR GOVERNMENT WORK FOR US
Abolishing the Filibuster
Time and time again, Republicans and some Democrats have abused the filibuster to prevent meaningful progress on issues from abortion to climate change to voting rights. The filibuster has a pernicious history of being used to perpetuate Jim Crow laws, and is being used once again to solidify a new generation of Jim Crow meant to disenfranchise people. If we are to restore voting rights, pass meaningful gun safety legislation, enact a national right to abortion, protect workers and their right to organize, ensure clean air and clean water, and create an economy that works for everyone, we must abolish the filibuster.
Passing the Protect Our Democracy Act
Over the last few years, there have been repeated and pernicious attacks on our democracy and its institutions. Norms that we thought were inviolate, have been violated with seeming impunity. That’s why I introduced a landmark package of reforms to prevent future presidential abuses of power, restore our system of checks and balances, accountability and transparency, and protect our elections from foreign interference. This package of legislative reforms — similar to the post-Watergate reforms passed by Congress in the 1970’s — would restore the guardrails protecting our democracy. Among other reforms, it would expedite the enforcement of Congressional subpoenas, prevent presidents from issuing self-pardons or pardons to their family members, increase protections for whistleblowers, require presidential candidates to release ten years of tax returns, and protect our elections from foreign interference.
Prohibiting Members from Trading Stocks
Over the last several years, some members of Congress have used information they gleaned from their work to trade stocks. This practice is illegal, and to restore public confidence, all members should be banned from trading individual stocks. The American people should never have to worry that their representative in Congress is acting in their own personal financial interests, rather than their constituents’ best interests. That’s why I am an original cosponsor of the Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust (TRUST) in Congress Act to ban Members and their families from trading individual stocks.
Ending Citizens United
In its Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court unleashed a torrent of dark, unaccountable money in our system, and made it nearly impossible to meaningfully regulate campaign finance. It’s time to return power to the people, and overturn Citizens United once and for all. That’s why I introduced a landmark constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision and allow reasonable restrictions on political spending, outlaw dark money, and allow public financing of campaigns.
Abolishing the Electoral College
Democratic candidates have won the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, but in that time frame we still had two Republican Presidents who lost the popular vote. We should ensure that presidents are chosen by the voters, rather than those who can cobble together a strategy for certain battleground states. That’s why I support abolishing the Electoral College — by expanding the multi-state compact in which states agree that whoever wins the national popular vote will earn all of their state’s electoral votes.
REFORMING THE SUPREME COURT
Expanding the Court
By blocking President Obama’s appointment of a Supreme Court justice almost a year before the end of his term, and forcing through the confirmation of a different justice during the last weeks of the Trump Administration, Republicans succeeded in stacking the Supreme Court with partisan justices determined to repeal reproductive freedom, restrict voting rights, and weaken environmental standards. We need a court that is fair, balanced, and represents the interests of the majority of Americans, one that is committed to protecting our rights and freedoms, not taking them away. That’s why I am a lead author of the Judiciary Act, a bill that would increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court from 9 to 13, so that new Justices can be appointed who would restore balance to the Court.
Instituting Term Limits
Term limits on the Supreme Court will ensure that an entire generation of Americans will not suffer a further erosion of their freedoms under the current reactionary and partisan Supreme Court, and that no future Senate Leader can stack the Court the way Mitch McConnell did. That’s why I am supporting the Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization (TERM) Act to set reasonable term limits for Supreme Court justices (18 years) while establishing a better process for Supreme Court appointments.
Establishing an Enforceable Code of Ethics
Reforming the Supreme Court through an enforceable code of ethics is a critical step towards restoring the nation’s faith in our justice system and protecting Americans’ fundamental rights and freedoms. Recent actions by Supreme Court Justices have seriously called into question the ethics of the court, and we must take definitive action to restore the court’s integrity by strengthening the ethics requirements for Justices, and establishing an enforceable code of ethics for all Justices.
Banning Stock Trading for Judges
We desperately need to bring ethics back to the Supreme Court – and all our nation’s courts. That’s why I introduced the Justice is BLIND Act – to effectively stop the active trading of individual stocks by all judges – and help ensure that federal judges and justices are making decisions based on the law and not because of any financial interest.