US House Democrats Unveil Their First Bill Which Addresses Anti-Corruption At The Capitol

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SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI

I am so proud of the US House Democrats under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi for introducing their first bill which tells the American peoples how they want the US government to work for their benefit. This is a crucial marker even though this House Resolution 1/ The For the People Act will never see the light of day in the US Senate under the republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

As per a 1/4/19 VOX report by Ella Nilsen, “By making anti-corruption their No. 1 priority, House Democrats are throwing down the gauntlet for Republicans. A vast majority of Americans want to get the influence of money out of politics, and want Congress to pass laws to do so. New polling from the PAC End Citizens United found 82 percent of all voters and 84 percent of independents said they support a bill of reforms to tackle corruption.”

“Given how popular the issue is, and Trump’s multitude of scandals, it looks bad for Republicans to be the party opposing campaign finance reform — especially going into 2020.”

“Our best friend in this debate is the public,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters recently. “We believe it will have great support.”

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Here is the rest of the story…

On January 4, 2019, Lauren Fox of CNN penned the following report, “Democrats unveil first new bill, with requirement for presidential candidates turning over their tax returns”

Excerpts:

“Democrats unveiled their first piece of legislation Friday (1/4/19), a collection of voting rights provisions, ethics reforms and a requirement that presidential candidates release 10 years of tax returns, an action aimed at President Donald Trump, who has defied decades of precedent by refusing to release his tax returns to the public.”

“The bill, which will become the first priority of many of the House’s most high-profile committees, is expected to move swiftly through the House of Representatives, but won’t pass in the Republican-controlled Senate or be signed by the President.”
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“Known as HR 1 or what Democrats are calling the For the People Act,the bill would make sweeping changes to the country’s federal voting system and promote automatic voter registration, internet registration and early voting, as well as prohibit states from restricting a voter’s ability to cast mail-in ballots. The legislation would also seek to bolster election security by imposing changes like requiring voting systems to be tested at least nine months before any federal election.”
“The legislation makes broad campaign finance reforms like barring contributions from businesses that have significant foreign influence and “requires super PACs, 501(c)(4) groups and other organizations spending money in elections to disclose donors who contribute more than $10,000.” It also imposes ethics rules on Congress and the executive branch.”
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“Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland told reporters that the bill was intended to “set the table” on what Democratic priorities in the new Congress look like even if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t take them up in the Senate.”
“You could stamp on this thing ‘McConnell rejected,’ and it would immediately give it more credibility because everything that he has done over the last few years to undermine democracy are the things that we are trying to respond to here,” Sarbanes said.
Democrats formally introduced the bill Thursday, but didn’t unveil the contents of it until Friday. The legislation will now undergo a series of hearings in Democratic-controlled committees, including Oversight and Ways and Means.”
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On January 4, 2019, Benjamin Siegel of ABC News penned the following report, “New Democratic bill would require 10 years of presidential tax returns”
Excerpts:
“As one of their first big-ticket legislative proposals of the new Congress, House Democrats on Friday unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption, campaign finance and ethics reform package that takes aim at long-simmering concerns about President Donald Trump‘s possible conflicts of interest between his actions as president and his family business.”
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“The massive proposal, known as “The For the People Act” and designated as “House Resolution 1,” also includes dozens of measures from Democrats on ethics and campaign finance reform, voting rights and election security. It would also require presidential and vice presidential candidates to release 10 years of their personal tax returns and require sitting presidents and vice presidents to do the same.”

“It’s important for what it does, it’s important for the confidence it gives people that their voices, their concerns, are heard,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday at a news conference unveiling the legislation.”

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“In addition to the tax returns provision, the bill would also require presidential appointees to recuse themselves from any matters involving the president, a president’s spouse or any entities in which they hold a “substantial interest.” The measure was derived from a proposal from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and introduced by Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., in the House, according to a section-by-section summary of the proposal obtained by ABC News.”

“The bill would also give the Office of Government Ethics more authority to strictly enforce violations of ethics law, such as the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from using official resources for political purposes, a provision repeatedly violated by Trump administration officials, according to the Office of Special Counsel, an independent government investigative agency that is not affiliated with the the Russia investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.”

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“A House Democratic aide said the package would also include a nonbinding sense of Congress encouraging presidents and vice presidents to put their assets in a blind trust.”

“It would also require new spending disclosures for presidential inaugural committees, which comes as Mueller’s team has questioned witnesses about millions of dollars in contributions to the Trump inaugural committee.”

“While Democrats plan to mark up the legislation in several committees over the coming weeks and send the bill to the Senate by the middle of next month, they’re not expecting much from the Republican-led Senate. In December, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed the effort in remarks during the Wall Street Journal’s annual CEO Council.”

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“Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., the chair of the House Democrats’ Democracy Reform Task Force who helped organize the package, told ABC News that it would be important for Democrats to pass heading into two years of divided government, and the next presidential cycle.”

“Sarbanes said Democrats would also be willing to separately pass smaller pieces of the package that could receive Republican support in the Senate. An example is the Honest Ads Act, a Senate bill requiring disclosure for online political ads first introduced amid concerns about Russian use of social media advertising to spread disinformation and disrupt the 2016 presidential election.”

“They also plan to simultaneously hold hearings to establish a record to update portions of the Voting Rights Act, after the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling overturning key parts of the law that dealt with determining which states need to seek approval before changing election or voting laws.”

6 comments

  1. I fail to understand how the Senate can refuse to even consider something that 82% of all voters are in favour of! Further evidence that the GOP-led Senate has forgotten what their job is — to represent the people, not to pander to the prez. Thanks for the info, Gronda!

    Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jill,

      If the US Senate Leader Majority Leader insists on doing the bidding of President Trump, then like a lot of other good laws, this will go nowhere. But I’m thrilled that the US House democrats are putting down their marker.

      Those who continue to cling to this Republican Party of President Trump have already compromised their soul.

      Hugs Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      Speaker Pelosi has started the Democratic majority in the US House of Representatives out on the right foot. She and the Freshman class of Congress is the most diverse ever, with more women, people of color, different religions and openly LGBTQ members and this new reality has been garnering lots of positive coverage.

      This presents a great contrast to the Republican Party which looks likes the president’s version of MAGA.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

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