Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today following House passage of H.R. 1, The For the People Act. This legislation will restore the promise of our nation’s democracy, end the culture of corruption in Washington, and reduce the role of money in politics to return power back to the American people.
“I came to Washington to fight on behalf of hardworking Iowans and I strongly believe that those elected should be responsible actors and put the needs of hardworking Iowans ahead of the special interests that are running Washington,” said Loebsack. “I am pleased that the first major piece of legislation that is being advanced this Congress is a reform package that returns our government to the people. This legislation brings needed reforms to our campaign finance system, begins to restore our democracy and holds members of congress accountable to the people who elected them. I have long worked to change the culture of Washington and this bill marks a historic turning point in our nation towards putting government back in the hands of the people.”
H.R. 1 contains many important reforms, including:
• Ethics and Accountability: Ensuring public officials work for the public interest – breaking the influence economy in Washington and increasing accountability by expanding conflict of interest law and divestment requirements, slowing the revolving door, preventing Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards and requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns. H.R. 1 also strengthens ethics enforcement by closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents, empowering watchdogs, overhauling the Office of Government Ethics and creating a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
• Campaign Finance Reform: Ending the dominance of big money in politics – ending the dominance of big money in our political system by requiring transparent disclosure of big-money contributors and special interests; creating a powerful matching system for small donations that amplifies citizens’ voices in politics and breaks the special interest stranglehold on Congress; pushing back on Citizens United; and strengthening oversight of campaign finance by tightening rules on super PACs, empowering the Federal Election Commission’s enforcement abilities, and repealing GOP rules that prevent government agencies from requiring commonsense disclosure of political spending.
• Restoring Our Democracy: Ensuring clean and fair elections – improving access to the ballot box by combatting institutional barriers to voting, creating nationwide automatic voter registration, ensuring that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full rights restored, expanding early voting and absentee voting, and modernizing the U.S. voting system; by building the constitutional record necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act; and by prohibiting voter roll purges and ending partisan gerrymandering. H.R. 1 also protects our election systems from attack by enhancing federal support for voting system security, increasing oversight over vendors and developing a national strategy to protect our democratic institutions.
Additionally, Loebsack worked along with the Iowa Democratic delegation to ensure Iowa’s redistricting process, which has been held up as a “model for the nation,” would be able to continue to use its current system. Language in the original bill would have prevented Iowa from using the system that has worked since 1980. The amendment offered by Rep. Finkenauer, Loebsack and Rep. Axne was unanimously passed by the House.
Since coming into office, Loebsack has set out to change the culture of Washington. Starting in 2007, he worked to pass the largest ethics reform since Watergate. He is also pushing to cut member’s pay, which hasn’t been cut in over 80 years, end the revolving door between lobbyists and Congress, get budgets passed on time, and is fighting to hold Members of Congress accountable for actually doing what they were sent to Washington to do.
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