Democratic leaders say their first legislative proposal when they take control of the House in January will center on campaign finance reform, closing loopholes in government ethics laws and reducing the influence of outside money in politics.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was nominated by House Democrats this week to serve as the next speaker of the House, has been calling Democrats’ list of legislative priorities the “For the People agenda.”
“The public has entrusted us to save our democracy,” Pelosi wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter prior to the speaker vote. “It is our patriotic duty to deliver a more open, responsive, bipartisan and unifying government For the People.”
That first bill next year will likely establish automatic voter registration; take away redistricting power from state legislatures and give it to independent commissions; and ensure that ethics laws on conflicts of interest extend to the Executive branch. The bill will also seek to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money on political activities.
Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) said the provisions in Democrats’ H.R. 1 are “basic things that I think the public wants to see.”