Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) released the following statement today after leading a successful effort to block three riders from the fiscal year 2020 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill (H.R. 3351) that would have increased secret money in politics and handed wealthy and well-connected special interests even more power in Washington:
“House Democrats – led by the Democracy Reform Task Force and by many Members of the Freshman class, including Reps. Jason Crow and Andy Levin – made a forceful statement today by blocking three cynical campaign finance riders from the 2020 financial services appropriations bill.
“Over the last several years, the Republican-led Congress has advanced a special-interest agenda to benefit big corporations and wealthy donors – all at the expense of hardworking Americans. That includes years of Republican attempts to weaken rules and tools meant to unmask secret money in our politics. But House Democrats, now in the majority, are charting a different course. We’re cleaning up corruption in Washington, cracking down on secret money in politics, ensuring clean and fair elections and restoring ethics, trust and transparency to public service.
“In March, as our first order of business, we passed the historic H.R. 1 – a once-in-a-generation opportunity to return us to government of, by and for the people. And every single day, House Democrats continue to fight back against wealthy and powerful special interests in Washington. Look no further than our latest effort to halt these three damaging campaign finance riders, which would have prevented the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and the Executive Branch from bringing secret political contributions out from the shadows.
“Moving forward, House Democrats will keep fighting to rebalance power in Washington by taking power and influence away from the wealthy and well-connected and returning it back to the people – where it belongs.”
Congressman Sarbanes has led many successful efforts in the past to block similar campaign finance riders – often designed and pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).