Sarbanes Delivers Opening Remarks as Hoyer Commits to Bold Anti-Corruption Reforms If Democrats Take Back House [Video]


Sep 12, 2018
Contact: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today delivered opening remarks ahead of a keynote address by House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who said that Democrats would pass a comprehensive suite of democracy reforms if they win back the Majority in the House this November.

The democracy reform package would include three key baskets of reform:

  1. Making it easier, not harder, to vote;
  2. Improving ethics and accountability in Washington; and
  3. Getting big money out of politics.

See below for full video and transcript of Congressman Sarbanes’ remarks.

“Thank you, Tiffany. Good morning, everybody.

“I want to thank Tiffany. I want to thank the entire End Citizens United team that’s here today.

“As you know, End Citizens United sprang up on a wave of anger and discontent at the miscarriage of justice which was the Citizens United case in the Supreme Court. But now, ECU is channeling that anger towards important, positive reforms and we want to thank them for doing that.

“And I’m very glad today to be with my dear friend, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, for his presentation of how we can build a more representative democracy.

“More than ever, as Tiffany was just saying, our democracy is in need of urgent repair. Americans from across the political spectrum – this is Democrats, Republicans, Independents – are convinced that government is not working for them, it’s not working for the public interest, but rather, is serving the special interests. We know this because we are listening. Every single Democrat currently serving in Congress, and every Democratic challenger out there on the trail who has stepped forward in the current election cycle, knows that cynicism about government is broad, it is deep and it is all across the country. And that cynicism is well placed.

“Look no further than the agenda of this President and his allies in Congress. Billions of dollars in tax cuts for the rich, massive giveaways to special interests and a full-frontal assault on worker’s rights and consumer protections. That’s why the time is right for a bold set of democracy reforms that can restore public trust in government.

“And here's the thing, what people are asking for should not be a tall order. They want us to respect the American voter. They want it to be easier, not harder, to vote in America. They want that vote to be counted. They want that vote to be protected. They want voting rights to be lifted up in America. We should be able to get that done.

“They want to know that when you go to Washington, or any place where laws are made, that you will behave – that there will be ethics, and accountability and transparency. That shouldn’t be a tall order for lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

“And they want to know that when you go to serve, you won’t get tangled up in the money – that you won’t serve the special interests. You’ll remember where you came from. You’ll serve the public interest, you’ll serve the people.

“Americans want this change. They want it now.

“No one – no one – understands more keenly the need for these reforms and the importance of making them the first order of business in a new Congress than Whip Steny Hoyer. He believes deeply in our democratic institutions. If you have ever heard Steny talk on the House floor about the sanctity of our democracy and its institutions, you know what I’m talking about.

“Whip Hoyer has been in the trenches fighting for a stronger democracy his entire career, and he has the scars to prove it. Previously as Ranking Member of House Administration, Steny was a key general in the last major battle for campaign finance reform and in the passage of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

“As we will hear today, should we take the gavel back, Steny Hoyer will give his all in the fight for a stronger, more representative democracy.

“Steny, the podium is yours.”