In recent weeks Attorney General Barr has shown his unwavering loyalty to President Trump and has made some extremely concerning decisions to protect the President.

Congress just returned from a two week recess and Democrats have had control for only a couple of months. Plus the stonewalling from the administration in all Congressional investigations has been historically unprecedented. I cover some of it in my follow up comment in OP :). These things take time, though I understand the urgency as each day passes democratic institutions are being dismantled by this administration. It doesn’t help that McConnell has broken the Senate by refusing a vote on a number of bills the House has passed.

For example – House Democrats passed House Resolution 1 a sweeping proposal focusing on campaign finance reform, anti-corruption measures and voting rights. However last month Senate Majority Leader McConnell vehemently opposed the bill and publicly stated he would not allow a vote on the anti-corruption bill, instead referring to the bill as a “radical, half-baked socialist proposal”.[1]

Senate Majority Leader McConnell has vowed to never vote on a sweeping anti-corruption bill that was passed by the House. The proposal included;[2]

Campaign finance

  • Public financing of campaigns, powered by small donations. Under Sarbanes’s vision, the federal government would provide a voluntary 6-1 match for candidates for president and Congress, which means for every dollar a candidate raises from small donations, the federal government would match it six times over. The maximum small donation that could be matched would be capped at $200. “If you give $100 to a candidate that’s meeting those requirements, then that candidate would get another $600 coming in behind them,” Sarbanes told Vox this summer. “The evidence and the modeling is that most candidates can do as well or better in terms of the dollars they raise if they step into this new system.”

  • Support for a constitutional amendment to end Citizens United.

  • Passing the DISCLOSE Act, pushed by Rep. David Cicilline and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, both Democrats from Rhode Island. This would require Super PACs and “dark money” political organizations to make their donors public.

  • Passing the Honest Ads Act, championed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Mark Warner (VA) and introduced by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) in the House, which would require Facebook and Twitter to disclose the source of money for political ads on their platforms and share how much money was spent.

  • Disclosing any political spending by government contractors and slowing the flow of foreign money into the elections by targeting shell companies.

  • Restructuring the Federal Election Commission to have five commissioners instead of the current four, in order to break political gridlock.

  • Prohibiting any coordination between candidates and Super PACs.

Ethics

  • Requiring the president and vice president to disclose 10 years of his or her tax returns. Candidates for president and vice president must also do the same.

  • Stopping members of Congress from using taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment or discrimination cases.

  • Giving the Office of Government Ethics the power to do more oversight and enforcement and put in stricter lobbying registration requirements. These include more oversight into foreign agents by the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

  • Creating a new ethical code for the US Supreme Court, ensuring all branches of government are impacted by the new law.

Voting rights

  • Creating new national automatic voter registration that asks voters to opt out, rather than opt in, ensuring more people will be signed up to vote. Early voting, same-day voter registration, and online voter registration would also be promoted.

  • Making Election Day a holiday for federal employees and encouraging private sector businesses to do the same, requiring poll workers to provide a week’s notice if poll sites are changed, and making colleges and universities a voter registration agency (in addition to the DMV, etc), among other updates.

  • Ending partisan gerrymandering in federal elections and prohibiting voter roll purging. The bill would stop the use of non-forwardable mail being used as a way to remove voters from rolls.

  • Beefing up elections security, including requiring the director of national intelligence to do regular checks on foreign threats.

  • Recruiting and training more poll workers ahead of the 2020 election to cut down on long lines at the polls.


1) The Hill – McConnell: House election reform bill won’t get Senate vote

2) Vox – House Democrats officially unveil their first bill in the majority: a sweeping anti-corruption proposal: Democrats will take up voting rights, campaign finance reform, and a lobbying crackdown — all in their first bill of the year.

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