Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross’ (NC-02) amendments to protect poll workers and end overreaching White House Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the Protecting Our Democracy Act (PODA). PODA is a comprehensive package of reforms to prevent presidential abuses and to restore the Constitutional system of checks and balances.   

“The prior administration eroded this country’s well-established constitutional order when it shattered democratic norms, abused executive powers, and disregarded Congress’ critical oversight role,” said Congresswoman Ross. “The Protecting Our Democracy Act will enact critical guard rails to prevent any President, regardless of party, from abusing the public’s trust. Following violent threats against poll workers and their families in the 2020 elections, many states, including North Carolina, faced challenging shortages of poll workers. These unacceptable intimidation tactics cannot deter our work to ensure every American can access the ballot box. I’m glad the House passed my amendments that will help us protect the integrity of our elections and democracy.”

Congresswoman Ross’ amendment establishes a taskforce within the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute threats to election officials in collaboration with state and local governments. In the wake of the 2020 election, poll workers and their families have been subjected to unprecedented levels of harassment, violent threats, and intimidation. This amendment will protect the poll workers and election officials who work tirelessly to ensure the free and fair administration of our elections.

The House also passed Rep. Ross’ amendment to prohibit warrantless NDAs that have no legitimate purpose and obstruct the public’s interest in executive branch operations. In the Trump White House, staffers were required to sign NDAs that far exceeded the bounds of lawful public employee speech restrictions. These NDAs infringed on the First Amendment rights of both government employees and the press that reports on matters of public interest.

Congresswoman Ross spoke on the House floor in support of this legislation and her amendments.