Remarks as prepared for delivery

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today to address perhaps the most important reform to strengthen our democracy in a generation: House Resolution 1, the For the People Act. 

We have a responsibility—an obligation—to make sure that our government always remains one of the people, by the people, and for the people.

But the truth is, Congress has not done enough to protect the voices of everyday Americans, and to make sure that our government institutions are working for them. 

The American people know it, and Mr. Speaker, I believe that’s exactly why they voted for new leadership in the people’s House.

They know what’s happening to our political system. The dark money. The attack ads from secret fly-by-night groups. The incredible influence special interests seem to have over too many political leaders.  They see it every day when the system that used to work so well for the middle class is now rigged against them.

So much of it is a result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Consider the facts: From 2008 to 2016, the amount of outside spending to influence our elections increased ten-fold, reaching an astonishing 1.4 billion dollars during the last presidential election.   

Those billions being spent to influence elections and politicians? They aren’t coming from everyday Americans…but are more likely coming from Wall Street, Big Pharma, and other high-powered interests working against the rest of us.

We can do better. And with H.R. 1, we will do better.  

This transformative set of reforms will shine a light on dark money and return power to the people. It puts disclosure front and center by requiring political groups to disclose their large donors, bringing dark money out of the shadows for good. 

H.R. 1 recognizes a simple principle: The American people ought to know who is writing big checks to their elected officials and candidates for office.

By curbing the influence of special interests, we can lift the voices of everyday Americans.  And we can better focus on the issues that matter most—like quality jobs, affordable health care, clean air and water, and strong infrastructure.  

Mr. Speaker, history has its eyes on us today.  Let us once again resolve to make sure that our government remains one of the people, by the people, for the people. 

I yield back the remainder of my time.