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House & Senate Democratic Leaders Unveil A Better Deal For Our Democracy

Washington, D.C.Today, House and Senate Democrats held a press conference on the steps of the United States Capitol to unveil the newest plank of their bold economic agenda, A Better Deal for Our Democracy, to fix Washington’s broken political system and return to a government of, by and for the American people.  This new plank of Democrat’s A Better Deal agenda focuses on taking back the power from special interests and getting rid of the pay-to-play culture of corruption, cronyism and incompetence embodied by the Trump administration, which has led to political dysfunction and a raw deal for the American people.

“The White House and GOP Congress’ big donor-driven agenda is sticking the American people with a raw deal,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).  “Republicans are putting special interests and lobbyists before hard-working families – from handing billion-dollar tax breaks to Wall Street and wealthy corporations shipping jobs overseas, to prioritizing dirty energy polluters destroying our clean air and clean water, from refusing to stand up to Big Pharma’s outrageous price hikes on sick children, seniors and working families.  Democrats are committed to giving the American people A Better Deal for Our Democracy that will put the power back in the hands of the people and ensure our political system works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”

“President Trump famously campaigned on ‘draining the swamp’ but he so far he has filled it up with pay-to-play schemes inside and outside his administration.  From Michael Cohen cashing in more than a million dollars promising influence of the president, to Mick Mulvaney admitting to donors that donations equal access, President Trump has made it clear that draining the swamp is yet another broken promise,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).  “Democrats are proposing a better deal for the American people – one that actually cleans up corruption and loosens the vice-grip that special interests have over Washington Republicans and the Trump administration by strengthening our nation’s ethics laws to restore integrity to government service.”

“Americans are tired of getting a raw deal from Washington.  They've had it with all the backroom dealing, influence peddling and special-interest policymaking that goes on in this town,” said Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD), Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force.  “Democrats hear that frustration and we’re committed to delivering real reforms that return us to a government of, by and for the people.  The bold new agenda that we’re rolling out today will clean up the chaos and corruption in Washington and put the people's interests ahead of special interests.”

“Once upon a time, Donald Trump said he didn’t want Koch money or anything else from them.  It turns out the Kochs and other self-interested billionaires have installed their corporate operatives throughout the Trump administration.  And when the special interests are calling the shots, that can have profound implications for public health, the environment and the economy,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).  “This is not democracy.  This is the corruption of democracy to benefit narrow special interests at everyone else’s expense.”

“You can look no further than the hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars Washington Republicans gave to corporate special interests to see they care more about lining the pockets of donors than the people they were elected to serve,” said Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Co-Chair Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL).  “That is why we are offering A Better Deal, with stronger ethics laws, transparency and real accountability to ensure lawmakers are fighting for hardworking everyday Americans, not greedy special interests.”

“Americans are no longer in charge of their own democracy.  We are being drowned out by billionaires and special interests who can spend unlimited and undisclosed money to flood the airwaves and call the shots.  Now even foreign interests are getting in on the act,” said Senator Tom Udall (D-NM).  “Those big money donors have hired an administration that will betray the public trust in a heartbeat – and a Republican congressional leadership that is rewarding their donors with tax cuts while taking away health care from families.  Americans look at people like Scott Pruitt, and they see a Washington that is not just hopelessly out of touch, but fundamentally working against their interests.  Democrats are taking on this assault on the middle class and stepping up to offer A Better Deal for Our Democracy, with historic reforms to end the stranglehold of big money on our electoral system and put the American people back in charge.  American democracy shouldn’t have a price for entry.  It’s time we took back our democracy and returned it to the hands of all Americans, instead of a privileged, powerful few.”

“We can’t continue letting special interest money pour in and silence the voices of our communities,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).  “This is supposed to be a government by and for The People, not one held hostage by faceless corporations.  So long as groups like the NRA can spend billions to influence Republican legislators, we won’t see the reforms that our nation so desperately needs.  Americans don’t deserve this raw deal – we deserve a better one and we can have it.”

The full A Better Deal for our Democracy can be viewed here.