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Congressman David Price (D-NC) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) Introduce Bicameral ‘We the People Democracy Reform Act of 2017’

September 27, 2017
Press Release
Landmark legislation will fix broken campaign finance system, restore accountability to elections, and empower voters. Includes new provisions to address unprecedented conflicts of interest arising from Trump administration

WASHINGTON (Sep. 27, 2017) – Today, U.S. Congressman David Price (D-NC) and U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced the We the People Democracy Reform Act of 2017. This bicameral legislation addresses a series of comprehensive democratic and electoral reforms to restore integrity, accountability, and transparency to our broken political system. 

This legislation is more expansive than past versions and includes proposals to comprehensively reform campaign finance laws, increase transparency and accountability in the political system, end extreme partisan gerrymandering, increase voter participation, and strengthen lobbying and revolving door laws. A summary of its provisions is available here.

“For too long, Washington has neglected the systemic issues undermining our democracy,” Price said. “A lack of accountability in our political system has left the door open for mega-donors, foreign actors, and other groups to exploit our elections and curtail our ability to get things done on behalf of the American people. The ‘We the People Democracy Reform Act’ offers common-sense solutions that would boost accountability, empower regular citizens, and restore public confidence in our democratic institutions.”

“Our democracy has reached a crisis point,” Udall said. "The American people are losing faith in our electoral process and in our institutions – because they’ve seen too much evidence that our government no longer answers to ordinary citizens. Disastrous Supreme Court decisions have opened up the floodgates for secret, special interest money to drown out the voices of regular people. Foreign adversaries are interfering in our elections. Voting rights are under attack across the country. And big money donors are being rewarded with cabinet posts, high-ranking positions and special access. It’s long past time that we took action to restore confidence and accountability in our democracy. The ‘We the People Democracy Reform Act’ will empower us to take back our democracy and return it to the hands of all Americans, instead of a privileged, powerful few." 

This new legislation builds upon a number of bills introduced by Udall, Price and many others to address various shortcomings in our voting and political system. This package would make significant strides toward repairing our broken political system, which has contributed tremendously to diminishing public confidence and lack of voter participation. Additionally, this bill will serve as a model for states and localities to implement reform at the local level. 

The bill has received endorsements from The Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, People for the American Way, the Center for American Progress, and Public Citizen as well as policy leaders such as Norman Eisen, board chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and chief White House ethics lawyer for President Obama (2009-2011) and Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer for President Bush (2005-2007).  

Additional information about the ‘We the People Democracy Reform Act’ is available here. Read quotes from supporters of the bill here

 

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