At a House Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) lifted up the meaningful work of Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of the NETWORK Lobby, and called on the Trump Administration and its Republican allies in Congress to follow her lead in putting the interests of hardworking American families ahead of the interests of wealthy donors and corporations.
“[Congress] often don’t see people in poverty in this country in a way that motivates us to do the right thing and to put the policies in place,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Too often, the people … who have the power to get access to us and show up in our office because they are entitled – they can get the meetings – and then the policy gets made on their behalf, and we have to fix that.”
Congressman Sarbanes continued: “I want to thank you, Sister Campbell, for the work of NETWORK, the faithful democracy initiative where you are connecting the dots for us in terms of how money and influence determines policy when it comes to economic equality – or let’s call it inequality – in this country, where Wall Street decides what we should focus on and the people that are left out and locked out don’t have their priorities being met.”
Sarbanes continued: “I went back and found a quotation from Bob Dole, Republican Senator, 1983…. He was talking about the tie between how lobbyists spend their money, and [how] special interests spend their money, and how policy that gets made and [how] that’s not what good governments should do. But then he went on to say this – very poignant – he said, ‘Poor people don't make political contributions. You might get a different result if there were a poor PAC up here in Washington.’”
Sarbanes concluded: “Sister Campbell, maybe you could give me your thoughts on this – I expect that you probably have some perspective on this from the great work that NETWORK is doing – and try to expose that connection between money and policy that leaves people who are suffering in poverty out of the equation.”