In an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers this past Monday, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi assured the comedian he wouldn’t be going to jail if the Democracy For All amendment were to be ratified.
The concerns came from a speech Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave during last week’s senate debate over the amendment were he argued passage of the bill could lead to satirists and comedians to be jailed.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared, in a 272-word speech in a small town named Gettysburg, that it was time for America to undergo "a new birth of freedom" with a "government of the people, by the people, for the people." It's easy to get up and say that a country needs freedom and that elected officials should actually listen to and act on the wishes of those who elected them. However, upon further review, what does freedom look like? What does elected officials carrying out its constituents desires look like?
67 Billionaires Who Can Now Buy More Influence in Congress Thanks to the Supreme Court
In its McCutcheon v. FEC decision on Wednesday, the Supreme Court invalidated “aggregate contribution limits,” or how much individuals can give overall to federal candidates, party committees, and PACs each election cycle. In 2012, that limit was $117,000 (and, until Wednesday, it was $123,200 for 2014)—more than double the median family income in America.
Reps. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), and Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) spoke on the House floor Wednesday night about the influence of money in politics and the need for Congress to pass the Government By the People Act (H.R. 20), legislation to raise the voices of everyday people in the political process.
"We need to recognize that there is a problem and we need to take meaningful steps to address it," Rep. Sarbanes said before explaining how H.R. 20 would work.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus’s (CPC) “Better Off Budget,” released on Wednesday, includes funding for public financing of elections, to “establish a representative democracy that truly reflects the diversity and values of our nation.”
Here’s the full description (page 21):
Public Financing of Campaigns
Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.) is an original cosponsor of the Government By the People Act. This week he was praised by Democracy North Carolina for his support of the legislation.
Video streaming and movie rental giant Netflix is gearing up to take on Capitol Hill. The company has become a political force, the Center for Public Integrity reports, spending $1.2 million on federal lobbying efforts last year. That's "more than twice its 2012 spending and nearly 10 times its 2010 spending, according to disclosures filed with the U.S. Senate and U.S. House."
Today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) will be joined by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and over 100 House members as original co-sponsors of the Government By the People Act (H.R. 20), a bill to lift up the voices of everyday people in the political process through empowering and encouraging small dollar donors.
The Government By the People Act would allow candidates to run for office by relying on a large number of small donations from people back home—instead of big donations from lobbyists or Wall Street bankers.
Here’s how it would work: