The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland.
(Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland, Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, Sarbanes discussed Democrats’ A Better Deal for Our Democracy, an agenda focused on taking back the power from special interests and getting rid of the pay-to-play culture of corruption, cronyism and incompetence that has given a raw deal for the American people. )
[The Trump Administration] is the most ethically blind administration we have ever seen. From the President on down, people just don’t respect the ethical lines. We need to change that. We need to strengthen the Office of Government Ethics so it has the enforcement authority to go do its job. We need to make sure that if you go run for President, you have to release your tax returns. That’s a basic indicator of transparency. So, there are things we can do to improve ethics and accountability and clean up the culture of corruption where we see it. […]
We can fix our campaign finance system. There’s too much secret money coming from Super PACs and other big players out there, who pour money into our politics and hope to have influence from it. We’ve got to make sure that we have citizen-owned elections, so that you’re in charge, you’re the ones that power campaigns in America and candidates and Members of Congress and lawmakers turn to you, and are accountable to you for your interests.
(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)
“Hello, I’m Congressman John Sarbanes. I represent Maryland in the House of Representatives and I chair the Democracy Reform Task Force for the Democrats in the House. And I’m excited to talk to you today about A Better Deal for Our Democracy, which is a powerful reform platform that we’re putting forward to Americans all across this country, because we know that people feel like Washington doesn’t work for them anymore; that we need to fix our institutions, that we’ve got to let your voice back into things here on Capitol Hill and make sure that your priorities are the ones that govern us, as opposed to priorities of special interests and big money and insiders.
“We know that people are tired of the current politics. We hear it every day. When I’m in my district, people come up, they have this sense of being powerless in their own politics and in their own government, because they look at Washington and they see a system that benefits special interests and powerful influencers – and we need to address that. And the Democrats have a plan to do it.
“Unfortunately, the Republicans have gone in the other direction. Here in Congress, there is a special interest agenda that puts Wall Street first and the oil and gas industry and the big money crowd. This Administration promised to come up here and clean things and fix a broken system. They’ve only made it worse. So, we understand why people are getting even more cynical by the day.
“We want to offer something different. We have a plan to reform our democracy.
“A Better Deal for Our Democracy has three key components.
“First of all, we want to empower the American voter. We want to make it easier, not harder to register and vote. We want to address partisan gerrymandering, so that people feel respected in terms of how districts are drawn across the country. So, we have a plan for that. We want to strengthen the voting rights act to make sure that everybody has a fair opportunity to vote in our democracy. So these are key elements that we are putting forward as part of A Better Deal for Our Democracy so that voters feel respected.
“We also want to address ethics and accountability. This is the most ethically blind administration we have ever seen. From the President on down, people just don’t respect the ethical lines. We need to change that. We need to strengthen the Office of Government Ethics so it has the enforcement authority to go do its job. We need to make sure that if you go run for President, you have to release your tax returns. That’s a basic indicator of transparency. So, there are things we can do to improve ethics and accountability and clean up the culture of corruption where we see it.
“The third thing we want to do as part of our Better Deal for Our Democracy agenda is we want to make sure that big money and special interests are not in charge up here. We can fix our campaign finance system. There’s too much secret money coming from Super PACs and other big players out there, who pour money into our politics and hope to have influence from it. We can push back on that with disclosure and transparency. We’ve got to make sure that we have citizen-owned elections, so that you’re in charge, you’re the ones that power campaigns in America and candidates and Members of Congress and lawmakers turn to you, and are accountable to you for your interests. So there are a lot of things we can do, including a Constitutional Amendment to address that terrible Citizens United case.
“All of these are part of key elements of a reform agenda that can make a difference for the American people. If we have A Better Deal for our Democracy and fixed our institutions, it would mean that lobbyists aren’t in charge anymore up here. If we have A Better Deal for our Democracy, it means that big money and special interests won’t call the shots.
“We can get this done. And we owe it to the American people to make these changes to ensure that your institutions of democracy are responding to you. That’s what A Better Deal for Our Democracy is all about. That’s what we’re putting forward. We want to get back to a government, of, by and for the people.”
Any bolding has been added.
There was no Democratic Party leadership news conference this week as the House was in recess.
San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the Department of Labor reported that workers’ wages increased just 0.3 percent in May:
“May’s jobs report shows that strong employment numbers mean little to the families hit with soaring new costs under the Republicans’ watch.
“Republicans’ cruel, cynical health care sabotage campaign is already spiking families’ premiums by double digits and pushing millions off their coverage, according to the nonpartisan CBO. Big Pharma continues to hoard the benefits of the GOP tax scam, using their handouts to further enrich executives and shareholders instead of lowering prescription drug costs for seniors and sick kids. At the same time, the President’s reckless policies are exploding gas prices, wiping out the few meager gains that some families should have received from the GOP tax scam, as wages remain stagnant.
“From day one, the White House and Republicans in Congress have sold out working and middle class families to further enrich the wealthy and big corporations shipping jobs overseas. Thanks to the massive windfall of the GOP tax scam, Wall Street and wealthy corporations are on track to spend $1 trillion on dividends and stock buybacks while simultaneously announcing tens of thousands of layoffs and shipping jobs overseas and refusing to raise workers’ wages.
“Democrats know that the American people deserve A Better Deal, with Better Jobs, Better Wages and a Better Future. We are committed to creating millions of new good-paying jobs and raising wages, lowering the soaring cost of living for families and giving every American the tools to succeed in the 21st Century economy. Democrats will never stop fighting for the hard-working middle class families who are the backbone of our nation.”
San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement one year after President Trump pulled out of the landmark, 195-signatory Paris Climate Accord:
“The landmark Paris Climate Accord defined our collective responsibility to ensure future generations inherit a world that is clean, healthy and sustainable. One year ago, President Trump turned his back on scientific fact and endangered the future for our children and grandchildren when he withdrew the U.S. from this historic agreement.
“Rather than working with the rest of the world to develop strategies to address the growing climate crisis, the Trump Administration is perpetuating an unprecedented culture of corruption, cronyism and abuse that betrays our values and our environment to support their special interest friends’ dirty energy agenda. Republicans in Congress have abdicated their Constitutional duty and refuse to hold the Administration accountable, instead aiding the White House in its efforts to sell off our health and safety to the highest bidder.
“An overwhelming majority of Americans believe in taking strong action to protect our climate, our communities and our future generations with the Paris Climate Agreement. Democrats will continue to demand accountability from the Trump Administration while we work with cities, states and our allies to protect and preserve our environment, and invest in the good-paying, clean energy jobs of the future.”