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House Democrats’ 1st bill targets big donors, voting access

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, joined at left by Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., heads into the Democratic Caucus leadership elections unopposed following an effort by a contingent working against her becoming the speaker of the House when her party takes the majority in the new Congress in January, at the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, joined at left by Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., heads into the Democratic Caucus leadership elections unopposed following an effort by a contingent working against her becoming the speaker of the House when her party takes the majority in the new Congress in January, at the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)
By Lisa Mascaro Associated Press

WASHINGTON – House Democrats on Friday unveiled their first bill for the new Congress, a good-government package to limit big money in politics, make it easier for citizens to vote and require presidents to disclose their tax returns.

The legislation, called H.R. 1, sets the tone for Democrats as they take the majority in January.

The bill would create automatic national voter registration while also expanding access to early and online registration. It would increase federal support for state voter systems, including paper ballots to prevent fraud.

Political groups would need to disclose donors, and members of Congress would be barred from serving on corporate boards.

In a nod to President Donald Trump’s resistance to releasing his tax returns, the bill would require presidents to do so. It also would create a Supreme Court ethics code.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, was flanked by newly elected freshmen when introducing the bill on Friday.

“We believe it will have great support,” Pelosi said.

She said it is more than a symbolic bill, but one they believe will have broad bipartisan backing.

“And that will not be lost on the Senate and the president of the United States,” Pelosi said.

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