Democracy

I’ve spent my life working to reclaim our democracy, and fix it to ensure it’s truly representative of we, the people, not just the wealthy and powerful. I will never back down from fighting for our shared humanity, and shaping our systems to uphold justice and equity for all. These are critical steps and protections that I will implement in the Senate to fix democracy, uphold democratic values, reform the Senate, and continue moving us towards that vision.

Barbara Lee

Advance Human Rights

Lee has been a powerful voice in calling for the United States to uphold its democratic values in its foreign relations, from being the only member of Congress to vote against the War in Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, to calling on the Biden Administration to seek Congressional approval for weapons transfers. In the Senate, Lee commits to leading a diplomacy-driven foreign policy approach, including continuing to call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza, and for advocating that decisions of war and peace be given sufficient deliberation by Congress, the people’s voice. Lee will continue her efforts to democratize our foreign policy by advancing her legislation to repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorization to Use Military Force, putting the matters of war and peace back in the hands of the people. 

In the Senate, Lee will also continue her fierce career of advocacy to realize healthcare, housing, a reimagined criminal justice system, and a pathway to citizenship as basic human rights. Her first Policy Pillar, Affordability, addresses some of her first-term commitments to advancing these goals.

End The Filibuster

Lee has been outspoken about the need to abolish the filibuster, an arcane Jim Crow-era rule that has stalled the passage of legislation including Women’s Health Protection Act, Raise the Wage Act, the Civil Rights Act, Medicare for All, cancellation of student loan debt, and universal child care.

From day one, Lee will champion legislation that would abolish the 60-vote threshold for the filibuster, reestablish the democratic process with the American people, and facilitate the implementation of critical civil rights policy.

Strengthen Voting Rights

The right to vote and participate in our democracy is crucial. In the Senate, Lee will continue to champion voting rights as a top issue, prioritizing passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in her first term, to implement further legal protections against discriminatory voting policies and practices and strengthen equal access to the ballot.

Further, Lee will be a leading advocate for efforts that make participation in voting more accessible and equitable. As a cosponsor of the Freedom to Vote Act in the House, Lee will join efforts in the Senate to pass the legislation.

She will also push vote by mail initiatives and automatic voter registration nationwide, a standard set by California that better allows for democratic participation, and fight to make election day a federal holiday. 

Reform The Courts

A healthy democracy upholds the principles of checks and balances, ensuring the judiciary’s adherence to the nation’s constitutional ideals. In the Senate, Lee will spearhead the passage of her co-sponsored bill, the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, requiring justices to adopt and comply with a binding code of ethics, more oversight, and stronger recusal obligations for Supreme Court justices.

Lee will also prioritize the passage of the Judiciary Act, which would help restore balance, integrity and independence to the Supreme Court by expanding to thirteen justices, as well as legislation to impose term limits on justices.  

Lee also commits to building a representative federal judiciary bench, prioritizing approving nominees with a strong track record standing up for justice and ethics, and who reflect the varying experiences of people in California and nationwide.

Restructure Campaign Finance

Lee has been a consistent advocate for changing the structure of campaign finance, supporting increased limits on campaign contributions and spearheading efforts to overturn the Citizens United decision. In the Senate, she will prioritize supporting policy to remove corporate influence from politics, including continued advocacy to reverse Citizens United, and championing the passage of the DISCLOSE Act, strengthening guardrails on big money campaign spending and requiring additional disclosures for campaign expenditures and advertisements.

An outspoken supporter of public campaign financing as one solution to the persistent barriers Black women and communities of color face in funding their campaigns, Lee will also push legislation to implement public financing as a federal standard. Lee will push the passage of the Government by the People Act, to create a system of public financing for congressional elections, provide matching funds for small-dollar contributions from individuals, and implement provisions aimed at reducing the influence of big money in politics.