Democratic House freshmen at Wednesday's news conference included, from left: Andy Kim and Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, Sean Casten of Illinois, Max Rose of New York, Chris Pappas of New Hampshire. At right is Tiffany Muller of End Citizens United.
Freshmen House Democrats to McConnell: 'Do your job' and move on HR 1
The newest House Democrats are fed up with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's vow to bury HR 1, the comprehensive package of campaign finance, election and ethics law changes.
The House passed the legislation three months ago entirely with votes from the new Democratic majority, and ever since McConnell has said the measure will never see the light of day so long as his fellow Republicans run the Senate.
Nearly every Democratic freshman — 62 of the 64 of them — released a letter Wednesday urging McConnell to reverse course and allow debate on the bill in the Senate (there, it is cosponsored by all 47 Democrats but none of the 53 Republicans).
Nine of them then stood outside the Capitol and excoriated the Kentucky Republican for his recalcitrance. They were joined by Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United, an advocacy group for stricter campaign finance laws.
"He is beholden to special interests, not people," said Antonio Delgado of New York, arguing that by standing in the way of this bill's progress McConnell is an example of the very problems HR 1 is designed to fix.
"Now is the time for McConnell to do his job," said Sharice Davids of Kansas.
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RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.
Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?
To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."
The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.
The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.
Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.
While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."