News · Press Release

Democrats Are Cracking Down on Washington’s Corruption

Question remains for Republicans: Whose side are you on?


Democrats in the House of Representatives unanimously passed sweeping anti-corruption legislation last week that will crack down on special interests’ control of Washington, make voting more accessible for everyday Americans, and put people back in charge of politics. But passing the “For The People Act” was just step one — Democrats are forcing Republicans to answer for whose side they stand on: everyday Americans who expect government to answer to voters, or big money special interests.

Watch Rep. Max Rose on Chris Hayes making it clear where Washington Republicans stand —

CA-10 | House passes Dems’ election reform bill

Turlock Journal


House Democrats on Friday officially passed their sweeping anti-corruption, pro-democracy reform bill known as HR 1, or the For the People Act, which included an amendment authored by Rep. Josh Harder that strengthens lobbying disclosures.


The massive piece of legislation aims to get money out of politics and increase transparency around donors, keep a closer watch on lobbying and expand voting rights by implementing aspects like automatic voter registration.


The bill has been described as one meant to restore the public’s trust in the government — something Harder believes has been lost throughout the years of American democracy.




“This bill allows us to know who is spending money and trying to influence our electoral system, and empower smaller donors instead of the current reliance on a handful of large billionaires who write massive checks into these political campaigns,” Harder said.




CA-10 | Harder op-ed: Washington is rigged. We finally did something about it

Modesto Bee




On Friday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the most sweeping piece of anti-corruption legislation since Watergate.


I am proud that this bill contains an important amendment I wrote to directly combat that room full of lobbyists — it says that if you are a lobbyist you must disclose to any elected official or staff member who you are and who you are paid to actually work for. It’s common sense.


I’ve also decided to do something completely new. I am opening up one of the most important but least transparent processes in DC — the appropriations process. Billions of dollars are appropriated each year to programs that directly affect our lives, but you know who has the largest say in where the money goes? Lobbyists. The process is done behind closed doors in rooms like the one I described. That’s not what my office is going to do.




CA-21 | Rep. TJ Cox on the passage of HR1

ABC News Bakersfield


TJ Cox released a statement on Friday about the passage of HR1, a bill that will overhaul the federal elections system.




“Our pay-to-play politics is why today we pay the most of any nation for prescription drugs. This is why we cannot, as the wealthiest nation in the world, deliver quality, affordable healthcare to every American family. This is why we are behind in the fight for renewable, sustainable technologies of the future. This is why many in the Central Valley still lack clean drinking water, and why our children breathe poisonous air.”


“Today this legislation is the first step towards bringing the voices and the priorities of the people back to Congress. I’m proud to have voted today for HR1, the For the People Act.”


“This bill will hold our politicians accountable to the people once again. I want to thank the people of the Central Valley for making their voices heard and pushing our elected representatives to finally do right by them.”


CO-06 | House Passes Sweeping Electoral Reform Bill





Still, the bill’s passage fulfills a major campaign promise for many House Democrats, who embraced a theme of cleaning up Washington during the midterm elections.


“It is no coincidence that the largest freshman class since Watergate is also the class that is leading and pushing on this critical reform measure,” freshman Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) said at a Thursday news conference. “We are the class born of voters’ frustrations with a broken system.”


Crow was among the 47 freshmen Democrats who had signed an October 2018 letter organized by the group End Citizens United that called for campaign finance and ethics reform to be the first item Democrats take up in the 116th Congress.




GA-06 | Dems’ elections overhaul could become campaign fodder in Georgia

Atlanta Journal-Constitution




McBath, who often discussed her parents’ role in the civil rights movement on the campaign trail, called the bill a “historic democracy reform package.”


“I was proud to vote yes on (the bill) to restore Americans’ faith in government and ensure that our government and electoral system is working for the people, not special interests,” the freshman Democrat said Friday.


House Democrats plan to make voting rights a key focus in the months ahead.




IA-03 | Axne lauds House passage of campaign finance reform bill

KMA Land


Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne is among those praising the passage of House Resolution 1 by the U.S. House Friday.


By a 234-to-193 vote, the Democrat-controlled House passed the For the People Act, a historic reform package that focuses on voting rights, campaign finance, and government ethics. Axne tells KMA News she feels the legislation will “help end the culture of corruption” in Washington.


“First, it bring ethics back to Congress,” Axne said. “It makes sure that we look at the opportunity for every voter in this country to have a voice by making sure that we protect voter integrity, and then of course ensures that every taxpayer dollar that we look at is spent wisely and so it holds government accountable to spending those taxpayer dollars well.”




IL-17 | Chuck Sweeny: Bustos touts passage of Democrats’ reform bill

Rockford Star




Democrats in Congress had one message they wanted to get out last week: “We’re the party of electoral and ethics reform.”


To that end, House Democrats passed HR1, a 500-page package of reforms designed to protect the integrity of free and fair elections, make it easier to register and vote, reduce the role big money plays in the electoral process and use taxpayer money to help fund congressional elections.


“We want to end the reign of big money in politics,” said U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D- East Moline, with whom I talked Thursday as Democrats were trying to whip up enthusiasm for their signature reform bill.




MI-08 | Election reform bill passes U.S. House with Slotkin amendment

Michigan Radio


An amendment added by Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of a campaign finance and government accountability reform bill. The bill is aimed at reducing the role of big money in politics, ensuring fair elections, and strengthening ethics standards. It would make election day a holiday for federal workers, create a public financing system for congressional campaigns, bar voter roll purges, and restore voting rights for ex-prisoners.


Slotkin says her amendment closes loopholes that allow foreign entities to buy digital and TV campaign ads and is intended to restore integrity to U.S. elections.


“I just see zero reason why any foreign country or individual needs to be trying to curry favor and exert influence over our elections,” Slotkin said. “We know that Michigan was targeted specifically by social media ads that were paid for by Russia.”




NJ-03 | N.J. Democrat tells nation about push to overhaul campaign, ethics and voting laws

New Jersey Advance


WASHINGTON —New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim ousted a Republican incumbent on a platform of trying to clean up government.


On Saturday, he championed House passage of legislation that would make it easier to register to vote, require additional disclosure of campaign donations, and strengthen ethics laws in delivering the weekly Democratic address.


The measure — called the For the People Act — passed the House on Friday.


“The tide of dark money and special interests eroded our pillars and caused many in this country, my neighbors included, to feel that our government is no longer focused on serving the people,” said Kim, D-3rd Dist. “We have a precious chance to seize the change we were sent here to make and restore faith in our democracy. The time is now to act”




NJ-03/07 | These N.J. freshmen used ethics reform as a key issue when winning their seats in the fall. The House just passed their bill.

New Jersey Advance


WASHINGTON — Democratic candidates Andy Kim and Tom Malinowski promised to clean up government when they ran for the House last fall. They wound up sweeping out two Republican incumbents.


On Friday, the Democratic-controlled House approved major campaign finance and ethics legislation in an effort to fulfill promises made during the midterms. The vote, solely along party lines, was 234-193.


“There was no single issue that was more resonant with the voters of the 7th District than this,” said Malinowski, D-7th Dist. “I look forward to being able to say we passed this in the House because voters in the 7th District flipped the House. We can do the same thing in the Senate if the voters of the United States make the change that New Jersey helped make to the House in 2018.”


UT-04 | Ben McAdams stands alone among Utah Republican peers in support of ethics reform, voter rights bill

Deseret News




Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, joined House Democrats in passing the “For the People Act,” which addresses campaign finance, ethics, accountability and voter rights.



The bill, which includes an amendment McAdams advanced to shine more light on lobbying activities, curbs the power of special interest groups and puts the public back in the driver’s seat of government, he said.


“Megadonors and special interest groups have too much influence in our system and everyday families get left behind,” McAdams said. “We are public servants and should always uphold the public trust in everything we do and perform to the highest ethical standards.”


McAdams said the measure exposes so-called “dark money” in politics by upgrading online political ad disclosure and requiring all organizations involved in political activity to disclose their large donors. It also increases accountability by expanding conflict-of-interest law.


McAdams’ amendment lowers the threshold for when lobbyists must register and report their activities. Individuals don’t have to register if they spend less than 20 percent of their time lobbying. The amendment changes that to 10 percent.


“By avoiding registering as a lobbyist, people are either seeking to avoid basic transparency requirements or they wish to hide what legislation they are trying to influence,” he said. “My amendment is a common-sense step to let the public know who is working to draft bills and in whose interest.”




VA-07 | Spanberger talks about passing ‘For the People Act’



Democrats in the U.S. House have passed HR 1, which is known as the For the People Act.


Representative Abigail Spanberger was one of many Democrats who voted for the bill.


The act would change the way congressional elections are funded, impose new voter-access mandates on states, require “dark money” groups to publicize their donors, and force disclosure of presidential candidates’ tax returns.


Spanberger also had an amendment that was passed as part of the bill.


“The goal of my amendment was to ensure that the director of national intelligence would be responsible for giving threat assessments against our election’s infrastructure 180 days in advance of a general election,” she said. “So that each state can have the chance to react, and make sure that their system is protected.”


VA-07 | Spanberger op-ed: Voting on side of Central Virginians—not special interests—never a difficult decision

Culpepper Star Exponent


As I campaigned across Central Virginia last year, I met constituents who readily shared their concerns with me. They spoke of issues as varied as the cost of prescription drugs to the lack of rural infrastructure to the impact of climate change. They spoke of a desire to see Congress work to solve problems for the people, and yet far too many also expressed a resignation that Congress wouldn’t serve their interests or solve any real problems.


Constituents wondered out loud whether corporate dollars or special interests, rather than the needs of the American people, were driving policies. What else explained Congress’ inaction as prescription drug prices escalated? What else could keep Congress from taking up a bipartisan background check bill that languished in committee, though the vast majority of citizens, most gun owners, and a substantial number of law enforcement officers supported it? What else could explain a tax bill that exploded the nation’s deficit, while giving record tax breaks to corporations, including more than $42 billion in savings to the five largest pharmaceutical companies?


These misplaced priorities and motivations, real or perceived, shake the faith that so many constituents have in our system of government—and it is up to us, members of Congress, to change it.


The U.S. House just passed a major reform package to begin this process. HR 1 would require greater disclosures of campaign funding, prohibit foreign money from flowing into our elections, allow the American people to know who is trying to influence them, break down unnecessary barriers that keep our citizens from the ballot box, and require the highest standards of ethics from members of Congress.


I cosponsored this legislation during my first week in office, because Congress needs to show our commitment to accountability through actions, not just campaign promises.




VA-07 | Spanberger details role in sweeping elections measure

Daily Progress


Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger says she is gravely worried about the vulnerability of America’s elections to hackers and others who would do the nation harm.


From all indications, she knows whereof she speaks. Not long before her election to the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s midterms, she was a covert CIA officer, working abroad to thwart threats to our country.


Less than two weeks ago, the 7th District Democrat introduced legislation to improve the integrity of U.S. elections and mitigate foreign threats to the nation’s election infrastructure.


On Friday, her proposal became part of HR 1, Democrats’ comprehensive reform package they say will safeguard American democracy, strengthen voting rights and restore ethics and integrity in government.


“Based on my background with CIA, one of the things that’s incredibly important to me is that we ensure the security of our elections,” Spanberger said in a phone interview Friday after HR 1 passed the House along party lines. “Fundamentally, we have to do that.”

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