HYATTSVILLE, MD - This afternoon, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-03) participated in a roundtable discussion with stakeholders and advocacy groups ahead of the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling, which falls on Tuesday, January 21. The Citizens United decision cleared the way for corporations to spend unlimited sums of money in politics, while opening new loopholes for individual donors to spend without disclosing their identities.
Congressman Hoyer and Congressman Sarbanes were joined by Tiffany Muller of the End Citizens United Action Fund who gave a presentation on the impact of the Citizens United decision. Other participants in the discussion included Emily Scarr of Maryland PIRG, Kim Coble of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Willie Flowers of NAACP Maryland, Bob Ross of NAACP Prince George's County, Malcolm Fun of NAACP Calvert County, and Dyotha Sweat of the Charles County NAACP.
"I was glad to participate in this important discussion today with Congressman Sarbanes, Tiffany Muller, and leaders in our community," said Congressman Hoyer. "As we mark the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, House Democrats continue to be committed to undoing the worst consequences of that disastrous decision and restoring the power of the people's vote. Last year, we passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, comprehensive government reform legislation to strengthen our democracy and ensure government works for the people again. Senator McConnell's refusal to bring this important legislation and so many other House-passed bills to the Senate Floor is unacceptable."
"I will continue to urge Senate action on government reform legislation," continued Congressman Hoyer. "That is what the American people expect and deserve. I join in thanking Congressman Sarbanes for his leadership on this issue, and appreciate the important work organizations like End Citizens United, the NAACP, and the League of Conservation Voters have done to advocate for this critical issue."
“Last year, House Democrats swiftly passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a once-in-a-generation reform package to fight back against the torrent of big money in politics unleashed by Citizens United,” said Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes, who assembled H.R. 1 and led its passage through the U.S. House of Representatives. “By leading with H.R. 1, House Democrats made a clear commitment to put the public’s interests ahead of special interests and to restore trust, transparency and integrity in Washington.”
"Leader Hoyer has been a tremendous ally in the fight to root out corruption and make government work for the people," said End Citizens United Action Fund President Tiffany Muller. "His commitment to reform set the stage for the House to pass the most comprehensive reform bill since Watergate. His leadership in Congress will ensure that we continue to pass legislation to undo the impacts of Citizens United, and we look forward to working with him in that battle."
Since the beginning of the Democratic-led 116th Congress, the House has passed legislation to ensure government works for the people, including:
- H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” a comprehensive government reform measure to address the influence of dark money in politics, put in place national redistricting reform, impose higher ethics standards on public officials, and make it easier for Americans to vote.
- H.R. 4, the “Voting Rights Advancement Act” to restore the protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
- H.R. 2722, the “SAFE Act,” an election security bill that authorizes a $600 million Election Assistance Commission (EAC) grant program to assist states in securing election infrastructure.
- H.R. 4617, the “SHIELD Act,” a bipartisan election security bill to prevent foreign interference in our elections and defend the integrity of our voting systems.
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