November 26, 2018

Warren Anti-Corruption Bill Gains Momentum as Jayapal, Sarbanes, Others Co-Sponsor House Companion

Bill comes as newly-elected House Democratic majority makes ethics reform and fighting corruption a top priority

Senate Bill Text | House CompanionBill One-Pager Bill Summary Endorsements

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) applauds Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and John Sarbanes (D-Md.) for introducing the House Companion to the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act. This comes as the newly-elected Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has pledged to make ethics reform and fighting corruption a top priority. Also joining the bill as co-sponsors are Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), and David Cicilline (D-R.I.).

Representatives Sarbanes, Jayapal, Raskin, Lee, Schakowsky, and Cicilline are members of the House Democracy Reform Task Force, a bold effort in the House of Representatives to build a government that puts the public interest ahead of special interests. Chaired by Representative Sarbanes, this task force is dedicated to confronting the Trump Administration's conflicts of interest and ethical lapses, while advancing positive reforms to improve accountability and transparency in government.

"I am so pleased that House Democrats have made anti-corruption a top priority, and that Representatives Jayapal and Sarbanes are helping lead that conversation with these policies to reign in corruption and strengthen ethics in Washington," said Senator Warren. "The time for real change in Washington has come.  People are tired of a government that works only for the rich and powerful. They are demanding a government that works for everyone else and that's what this anti-corruption bill is all about."

The Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act is the most ambitious anti-corruption legislation since Watergate. The legislation contains six big ideas:

1. Padlock the Revolving Door and Increase Public Integrity by eliminating both the appearance and the potential for financial conflicts of interest; banning Members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, federal judges, and other senior government officials from owning and trading individual stock; locking the government-to-lobbying revolving door; and eliminating "golden parachutes."

2. End Lobbying as We Know It by exposing all influence-peddling in Washington; banning foreign lobbying; banning lobbyists from donating to candidates and Members of Congress; strengthening congressional independence from lobbyists; and instituting a lifetime ban on lobbying by former Members of Congress, Presidents, and agency heads.

3. End Corporate Capture of Public Interest Rules by requiring disclosure of funding or editorial conflicts of interest in rulemaking comments and studies; closing loopholes corporations exploit to tilt the rules in their favor and against the public interest; protecting agencies from corporate capture; establishing a new Office of Public Advocate to advocate for the public interest in the rulemaking process; and giving agencies the tools to implement strong rules that protect the public.

4. Improve Judicial Integrity and Defend Access to Justice for All Americans by enhancing the integrity of the judicial branch; requiring the Supreme Court follow the ethics rules for all other federal judges; boosting the transparency of federal appellate courts through livestreaming audio of proceedings; and encouraging diversity on the federal bench.

5. Strengthen Enforcement of Anti-Corruption, Ethics, and Public Integrity Laws by creating a new, independent anti-corruption agency dedicated to enforcing federal ethics laws and by expanding an independent and empowered Congressional ethics office insulated from Congressional politics.

6. Boost Transparency in Government and Fix Federal Open Records Laws by requiring elected officials and candidates for federal office to disclose more financial and tax information; increasing disclosure of corporate money behind Washington lobbying; closing loopholes in federal open records laws; making federal contractors, including private prisons and immigration detention centers, comply with federal open records laws; and making Congress more transparent.

In August, Senator Warren unveiled the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act at a meeting of the National Press Club. You can watch a video of her remarks here.