Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Pelosi joined House Democrats for a press conference to mark ten years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United ruling, and highlight recent reforms passed in the U.S. House of Representatives to fight the corrosive influence of big money in politics. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Okay, what do we got? Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you all for being here. Are we all in? Almost. We are almost in.
It really is an honor to be here with such a distinguished array of presenters who have so much to do about making our elections fairer. To be here with Mr. Hoyer; Mr. Luján; Congresswoman Lofgren, whom I reference; John Sarbanes, who has been our hero in terms of H.R. 1; Rep. Pappas, a Freshman who had, as part of their whole thrust in the campaign, cleaner government, H.R. 1. Also Mr. O’Halleran of Arizona is with us as well, a champion on this issue in the Congress. We will be hearing from Vanita Gupta, Tiffany Muller, and it is again, a collection of folks who have been very much For The People in protecting our democracy.
I thank John Sarbanes, Chair of our Democracy Reform Task Force and the lead sponsor – where’d he go? – the lead sponsor of H.R. 1. We are pleased to be with Chair Zoe Lofgren, our brilliant legal mind in the caucus. She is the Chair of the House Administration Committee, had jurisdiction over this legislation, also, as I mentioned, members of our Leadership, Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Luján, whom you will be hearing from.
Rep. Chris Pappas represents our Freshman class. They made cleaning up government the number one priority from day one. Again, Tiffany has been our heroine in all of this and Vanita, thank you for your leadership.
Now, here we are. Ten years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States opened the floodgates to big, dark, special interest money in our politics. In a crushing decision, Citizens United undermined a fundamental American value: we are a government of the many, not a government of the money. Democrats know that when we break the grip of the special interest, we can advance progress for the people.
That is why one of the first bills we passed, H.R. 1: For The People, ended – ending the dominance of big, dark special interest money in politics and empowering small donors, ensuring clean, fair elections and fighting voter suppression as, again cleaning up government. Yet for more than 300 days, the ‘Grim Reaper’ has refused to give us a vote. In fact, Mitch McConnell has said, the problem is not there is too much money in politics; Mitch McConnell has said, the problem is, there is not enough money in politics. Shocking. We have a message for him, Americans want a government that works for the public interest, not for the special interest and they will join us to turn up the heat until H.R. 1, H.R. 1, House Resolution 1 is too hot to handle, and Senator McConnell is forced to take it up.
It is, again, something that gives people hope — that tries to diminish their doubts about if their voice counts as compared and contrasted with big, dark money. It gives them confidence that yes we can lower the cost of prescription drugs, we can reduce the power of big gun money in Congress and get safe legislation for a safer America. The list — we can protect our environment without big, dark money keeping leaders in our country in denial over climate. The list goes on and on, and I thank Mr. Sarbanes again, for his tremendous leadership and showing people the connection to their, for their aspirations and reducing the role of dark money.
With that, I’m very pleased to bring to – yield the floor to a distinguished leader for many years on this subject, Mr. Hoyer of Maryland, our distinguished House Democratic Leader.
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