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At Press Conference, Spanberger Urges Congress to Put Public Interest Before Special Interests, Pass Major Campaign Finance & Ethics Reform Package

The Congresswoman Cosponsored the Bill, which would Limit the Influence of Special Interests in Politics, Improve Access to Voting, & Promote Election Security and Integrity

Washington, March 6, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — During a press conference focused on a package of reforms to strengthen transparency across the U.S. political system, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today called on her colleagues to take action this week to limit the influence of special interests in the democratic process and restore the faith that the American people have in our government.

Spanberger is a cosponsor of the For the People Act, (H.R. 1), which would combat a culture of corruption in Washington by limiting the unmitigated political power of special interests and lobbyists, protecting and expanding the right to vote, and restoring ethics and accountability to the federal government. The legislation would also push public servants to put the public interest ahead of large corporations or mega-donors.

During the House Democratic Caucus’ weekly press conference, Spanberger called on Congress to start rooting out corruption in Washington and to give the American people a stronger voice in their democracy. Click here to watch the full press conference.

“The people of Central Virginia gave me a clear mandate to clean up corruption in Washington—and H.R. 1 delivers on that promise. Our legislation would help limit the influence of special interests in our politics, stop big contributors from hiding their political spending, and strengthen oversight of our campaign finance laws,” said Spanberger. “This bill empowers our citizens. It allows us to take back control of our government. And it creates the groundwork for an agenda focused on building stronger levels of participation across our democracy. This package of reforms brings things to the table that we need more of in Congress—commonsense and good governance. At a time when we’re seeing rampant factionalism across our country, this legislation restores our commitment to serving the public interest, rather than any special interest. Later this week, I look forward to voting in support of this bill and taking one step forward in restoring the faith that voters have in those whom they elected to serve them.”

Spanberger was joined at today’s press conference by House Democratic Caucus Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8) and U.S. Representative Jason Crow (D-CO-06).

The legislation is expected to be considered on the U.S. House floor later this week.

Specifically, H.R. 1 would help end the reign of special interest money in American politics by:

  • Upgrading online political ad disclosure and strengthening large donor disclosure rules;
  • Cutting off the flow of foreign money into our elections;
  • Committing to overturning Citizens United; and
  • Demanding the special interests who broke the political system bear a significant cost of fixing it.

H.R. 1 would also expand access to the ballot box and enhance federal support for voting system security to protect future U.S. elections by:

  • Promoting automatic, online, and same-day voter registration;
  • Expanding early and absentee voting;
  • Recruiting and training more poll workers;
  • Supporting adoption of paper ballot systems to bolster election security;
  • Protecting voting systems against cyber attacks; and
  • Requiring independent redistricting commissions to help combat partisan gerrymandering.

Additionally, the Spanberger-backed legislation would encourage accountability among elected officials by:

  • Tightening rules on lobbyists and foreign agents;
  • Slowing the special interest revolving door between Capitol Hill and corporate lobbyists;
  • Reforming the Office of Government Ethics; and
  • Prohibiting Members of Congress from serving on for-profit corporate boards or using public dollars to settle harassment lawsuits.

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