There was no bigger issue defining the midterm elections than the culture of corruption that has spun out of control under President Trump. But people didn’t just want Democrats to put a check on Republicans; they wanted to fundamentally fix Washington. Only then can Congress truly focus on the people’s priorities, such as higher-paying jobs, more affordable healthcare, and cleaner air and water.
This morning, House Democrats started meeting that mandate, revealing as their very first bill the most sweeping government reform package since Watergate. Its aim? Dismantling the culture of corruption and ensuring that government works for everyone, not just millionaires and corporations.
Here are some key elements of the bill:
- Campaign finance reforms, including incentives for candidates to focus on small-dollar donations and requirements for “dark money” political organizations to make their donors public.
- Major ethics reforms, including strengthened oversight and enforcement. Key here: The president must disclose his or her tax returns.
- Members of Congress will also be prevented from using taxpayer dollars to buy first-class airplane tickets or to settle sexual harassment suits.
- Voting rights protections, including national automatic voter registration, passing an updated Voting Rights Act, combatting partisan gerrymandering and voter suppression, and increasing election security (something the current administration is adamant about NOT doing).
The era of Trump’s unchecked corruption is over, and it’s time to start showing that government can start working for the people, both now and long after he’s gone.
GOOD NEWS: FARR GOES DOWN.
In Trump’s world, a model federal judge is someone who engages in rampant racism and voter suppression.
But even by Trump standards, Thomas Farr was one of the worst, and his confirmation to the federal bench seemed all-but-guaranteed—until two Republican Senators bowed to overwhelming grassroots pressure and did the right thing.
Senators Jeff Flake (AZ) and Tim Scott (SC) joined all 49 Democratic Senators in publicly opposing Farr’s nomination, making his confirmation essentially impossible. Their GOP colleagues aren’t pleased. Evidently (even in Trump’s America) some people are too racist for the federal bench.
OFF-KILTER: THE POLITICS OF MEDICAID.
This week on Off-Kilter: The latest on Trump’s Medicaid work reporting requirements, with Dr. Jamila Michener; PLUS: how Michigan’s Republican-led legislature is subverting democracy to stop a minimum wage hike, and other news of the week ICYMI.