Press Release ● Voting Rights
For Immediate Release: 
December 6, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined a press call today with End Citizens United Action Fund President Tiffany Muller; the Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-03); and newly-elected House Democrats on H.R. 1., Democrats’ legislation to return to a government that is of, by, and for the people it serves. Below is a transcript of his remarks:

“Well, Tiffany, thank you very, very much for all you’ve done and your leadership of End Citizens United and End Citizens United Action Fund, which has made such a real difference in heightening consciousness about the need to deal with the culture of corruption that has existed here in Washington and the dark money that has so undermined our politics.

“As you said, in September, I delivered a speech and you hosted, I very much appreciated, which highlighted the need to renew faith in government by making government work again for the American people. They think it works for the special interests, and we need to turn that around if they’re going to have faith in their democracy and in their institutions. That speech was hosted by you, and I, of course, was honored to be introduced by my dear friend, Representative John Sarbanes. Tiffany, your welcome was also very much appreciated.

“End Citizens United has been leading the charge to end the dangerous influence of dark money in our politics, and I want to congratulate Abigail [Spanberger], Max [Rose], Colin [Allred], Elissa [Slotkin], and Katie [Porter] for their participation and their extraordinary message that they delivered on the campaign trail, which led to their elections in very, very tough districts. They’re terrific new Members. They’re part of the signatories on a letter to us, that you referenced, saying ‘hey, let’s make H.R. 1 the first business that we consider,’ and we’re gonna do that. John Sarbanes and I and Nancy talked about the schedule and paramount in that discussion about the schedule was making sure that we gave time, hopefully to completion in January, but starting in January, if not completing, the H.R. 1 consideration.

“Representative Sarbanes has been leading this charge to turn the ideas of which I spoke in that speech into reality in the next 116th Congress.

“Today, we’re joined by a number of newly-elected House Democrats that I’ve mentioned who campaigned on this platform, and in a letter to me, they and other Members said that we needed to make this reform package a top priority as we prepare to take the Majority. How do you make it a top priority? You put it first on the agenda. John Sarbanes has been urging both Nancy and I to do that, we agreed with him. This makes sense, this is a statement that we want to make about priorities and the importance of cleaning up government.

“As Majority Leader, you know, I schedule the bills, and I look forward to bringing such a bill to the Floor, that as you pointed out Tiffany, reform the campaign finance system, including trying to move towards public financing where we’re not reliant on the private special interests but on public funds.

“Secondly, restore voting rights. That is absolutely critical. Now we have a part of the voting rights bill that may have to be considered in a little longer period of time because we want to make a record of the violations of the voting rights and making it more difficult to access and more difficult to register so that parts of the voting rights we expect to be in, which is a very important part of this package.

“Then, enacting redistricting reform. We need to make sure redistricting is done in a non-partisan, bipartisan, fair fashion throughout the country. My own view is that the House has the Constitutional authority and should require every jurisdiction to have fair redistricting so that no party gets an advantage in one state or the other—it’s uniform across the country.

“And lastly, we want to make government more accountable, ethical, and transparent.

“The leadership is going to work closely with Representative Sarbanes; Tiffany, with you and End Citizens United; the Committees; and Members to get this legislation passed in the opening weeks of the new Congress.

“Let me stress that, we want to pass substantially this legislation, when I say substantially, the voting rights part on pre-clearance because the Supreme Court wanted a record made, may take a little longer, but it is very much a part of this legislation.

“We will answer the American people’s resounding call, and I’m sure every one of the new Members that we have on this call are going to reiterate that—that we will answer the American people’s resounding call for change with real action to renew their faith, and that government can be a force and will be a force for progress in an honest, representative fashion.

“So Tiffany, let me thank you, let me thank Abigail [Spanberger], Max [Rose], Colin [Allred], Elissa [Slotkin], and Katie [Porter], as well as John Sarbanes who has been, really, the leader in this effort and has worked tirelessly to get us to the point where we are now. So thank you all very, very much.”