House Democrats on Friday introduced a sweeping government reform package designed to weed Washington of corruption and bolster…
The Hill: House Democrats on Friday introduced a sweeping government reform package designed to weed Washington of corruption and bolster voting rights across the country two of the party’s principal campaign promises as its top legislative priority.
Central to the package is a provision requiring the president and vice president to disclose their finances and tax forms going back 10 years a direct shot at President Trump, who has defied historic precedent by refusing to release his tax returns.
“Over the last two years, President Trump set the tone from the top in his administration that behaving ethically and complying with the law is optional,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee.
“This is our watch, and the American people are looking for us to take action.”
The reforms have little chance of moving through the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stands in staunch opposition to the proposals.
But the legislation — and the Democrats’ decision to launch it as their first act of business — signals that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) intends to use her gavel to move quickly on the campaign vows that won Democrats the House majority, while putting Senate GOP leaders in the tough spot of explaining their inaction on “drain-the-swamp” reforms that enjoy overwhelming public support.
“We are introducing … legislation to clean up corruption and restore integrity to government,” Pelosi, flanked by dozens of Democratic lawmakers, said during a packed press briefing in the Capitol.
“The American people will know that this is an option that the House has given the Senate of the United States and the president of the United States to take action in support of the American people.”
The package features dozens of proposals, grouped broadly into three categories: limiting the influence of money in politics, making it easier to vote, and adopting tougher ethics rules for Washington policymakers.
Democratic leaders are moving the package quickly under the premise that reforming how the government operates will boost the public’s trust in Congress, thereby greasing the skids for the issue-based reforms Democrats are promising later in the year, including big-ticket items addressing infrastructure, immigration and health care concerns.
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