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H.R. 20 (114th): Government By the People Act of 2015

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About the bill

The campaign finance system has come under attack by both parties. It may be the only issue Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders all agree on. In the past few years, several existing campaign finance restrictions have been struck down by the Supreme Court, opening the floodgates for nearly-unlimited political expenditures: just 158 families now provide half of all the political campaign money in the country.

H.R. 20, the Government by the People Act introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD3), is a leading Democratic congressional proposal to level the playing field. The bill would give every citizen a voucher worth up to $50 through a “My Voice Tax Credit” for campaign contributions in $5 increments, and it would aim to make small donations as influential as large …

Sponsor and status

John Sarbanes

Sponsor. Representative for Maryland's 3rd congressional district. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Jan 21, 2015
Length: 76 pages
Jan 21, 2015
114th Congress (2015–2017)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on January 21, 2015, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).


162 Cosponsors (161 Democrats, 1 Republican)


Position statements

What legislators are saying

Its Time for a Serious Conversation About Gun Safety
    — Rep. John Sarbanes [D-MD3] (Sponsor) on Jan 22, 2016

Hastings Statement on the Fifth Anniversary of Citizens United
    — Rep. Alcee Hastings [D-FL20, 2013-2021] (Co-sponsor) on Jan 21, 2015

Udall Leads Members of Congress in Marking Citizens United Anniversary with Reintroduction of Pro-Democracy Legislation [press_release]
    — Sen. Tom Udall [D-NM, 2009-2020] on Jan 21, 2015

More statements at ProPublica Represent...


Jan 21, 2015

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

H.R. 20 (114th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 20. This is the one from the 114th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 114th Congress, which met from Jan 6, 2015 to Jan 3, 2017. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 20 — 114th Congress: Government By the People Act of 2015.” 2015. March 24, 2023 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.