Democrats Will Restore the Promise of Our Democracy

By David Cicilline and John Sarbanes | The Hill
Jan 3, 2019
Editorials

Across the political spectrum, hardworking Americans are exasperated with a government that’s out of touch with their needs. They watch from the bleachers as the Republican administration and Republican-controlled Congress reward wealthy donors and well-connected special interests, while leaving ordinary American families behind. Whether it’s providing massive giveaways to the fossil fuel industry, blocking efforts to lower the costs of prescription drugs, eroding workers’ rights or tearing down critical consumer protections, it’s clear that our current political system does not put the public’s interests first.

That’s why heading into this year’s midterm elections, Democrats made an important promise to the American people: If elected, we would clean up the chaos and corruption in Washington, fix this rigged system and fight for the people.

Despite Republican-led efforts across the country to draw gerrymandered congressional districts, flood our politics with special-interest money and suppress the vote, the American people elected a wave of Democratic candidates who are committed to unrigging our broken political system and making it more responsive to the public. And in the early days of 2019, the new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives will deliver on that promise. On Day 1, we will introduce H.R. 1 – a sweeping anti-corruption and democracy reform package that will return us to government of, by and for the people.

First, we will rein in the influence of big money in our politics. That means bringing more transparency to our campaign finance system and empowering everyday Americans with a powerful new system that rewards and amplifies small donors.

Second, we will make sure that public servants actually serve the public, not use their office for personal gain. That means strengthening ethics across all three branches of government, ending the revolving door in Washington and reining in lobbyists.

Third, we will protect every citizen’s right to vote. That means promoting national automatic voter registration, expanding early and absentee voting, building the case to restore the Voting Rights Act, ending voter roll purging, safeguarding our election infrastructure from foreign attackers and cracking down on partisan gerrymandering.

These are the critical, systemic reforms that will revive our democracy, make it more fair, and importantly, make sure that it actually works for the people. Because when government works for the many, and not the money, we’ll be able to deliver policy outcomes that most American want to see. That includes raising wages and creating millions of good-paying jobs; lowering prescription drug costs and improving access to world-class medical treatment; making real investments in our infrastructure; increasing pathways to high-quality education; ending LGBTQ discrimination and enshrining LGBTQ rights by passing the Equality Act, reforming our nation’s immigration system and passing the Dream Act, giving rise to universal high-speed internet; and protecting American consumers – among a whole host of other issues.

The American people want real change – not talking points, not gimmicks, not false promises. Democrats get it. That’s why we’re determined to do whatever it takes to restore our democracy and give Americans their voice and their power back.