House Democrats Release Sweeping Legislation to Drain the Swamp

Unlike President Donald Trump’s campaign trail vow to “drain the swamp” that never came to fruition—in fact, he has somehow managed to make Washington even swampier—House Democrats on Friday officially introduced sweeping legislation that progressives celebrated as a plan to actually confront the deep-seated corruption that has long pervaded the American political system.

Formally titled the For the People Act—or H.R. 1—and sponsored by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), the far-reaching bill would promote public financing of elections, reduce the influence of corporate dark money, strengthen ethics and financial disclosure rules, and bolster voting rights, which are under severe attack from the Republican Party, the Trump White House, and the right-wing Supreme Court.

“Everything in H.R. 1 is a no-brainer for anyone who actually cares about American democracy,” Morris Pearl, chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, said in a statement applauding the new legislation.

“It’s time to unrig our broken political system,” Pearl continued. “Our political leaders have been most responsive to the interests of their wealthy donors for too long while the needs of normal Americans go unaddressed. Before we can fix any of our other issues we need to put power back into the hands of the people, and H.R. 1 is an important, necessary first step to getting there.”

Progressive groups echoed Pearl’s praise for H.R. 1, describing the plan as an urgent and necessary solution to the corruption that has distorted America’s democratic process for decades.

In a tweet, Indivisible hailed the legislation as “a robust, comprehensive democracy reform package.”

In an op-ed for The Hill on Thursday, Sarbanes and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) laid outthe three central components of H.R. 1:

  • First, we will rein in the influence of big money in our politics. That means bringing more transparency to our…

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