(WASHINGTON) — Congresswomen Nikema Williams (GA-05) and Katie Porter (CA-47) legislation to make it easier for parents and candidates of all incomes to run for office. The Help America Run Act would eliminate common financial barriers that candidates face by allowing campaign funds to be spent on health care premiums, childcare expenses, and elder care costs.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said:
“As a working mom, I know the importance of childcare. As a candidate, childcare was a line item in my campaign budget. As a Congresswoman, I have an obligation to dismantle the barriers working parents and caregivers face while seeking public office. The Help America Run Act clears a pathway to public service for working parents, which will help us build a more representative democracy.”
Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-47) said:
“Congress works better when we reflect the diversity of the people we represent—not just those who can afford to run for office. Campaigning can be a full-time job, and for parents who need childcare or rely on their job to cover health care costs, the lack of employer-provided benefits can deter qualified candidates. My Help America Run Act would eliminate these obstacles and make it easier for the best and brightest Americans to run for office.”
Candidates for federal office may currently receive a limited salary to cover living expenses while campaigning, but Congress has not clarified whether other employer-provided benefits—like health care and childcare—are permissible uses of campaign funds. According to Pew Research, 85% of Americans agree that the cost of political campaigns makes it hard for good people to run for office. The Help American Run Act would eliminate these common financial hurdles that discourage parents and non-wealthy individuals from seeking elected office.
Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Mary Peltola (D-AK), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Jill Tokuda (D-HI), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) cosponsor the Help America Run Act.
Click here for the text of the Help America Run Act.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.