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House Democratic priorities in new Congress: Trump tax returns and tackling corruption

House Democrats on Friday unveiled the outline for their first legislative push in the new Congress -- a bil...

Posted: Dec 1, 2018 10:02 AM
Updated: Dec 1, 2018 10:02 AM

House Democrats on Friday unveiled the outline for their first legislative push in the new Congress -- a bill that would aimed at substantial government reforms on everything from voter rights to campaign finance to ethics requirements in Washington to the documents presidential candidates must hand over when they win the nomination.

A Democratic aide told CNN that "the bill would require presidential nominees to release their returns from the three most recent taxable years."

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The bill -- which Democrats are calling "H.R. 1" -- isn't expected to pass in a Republican-controlled Senate or be signed into law by President Donald Trump. But it nevertheless acts as a statement of priorities for House Democratic priorities and is what Democrats plan to make their first order of business in January when they take control of the House.

Longtime House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who is vying to reclaim the title of House speaker next year, said on Friday at a news conference on the legislative push that the new class of incoming House Democrats is focused on "integrity in government."

Pelosi added that it "will be transformative to Congress when we reduce the role of money, amplify the voice of everyday Americans so that they know that their voices matter."

During his campaign for office, then-candidate Trump broke with presidential election norms when he refused to produce his tax returns for public review, and he has repeatedly refused to requests to release them since he's been in office. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told earlier this fall she is "not aware of any plans" for the President to release his tax returns.

Dean Phillips, an incoming Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota, said during the news conference that voters want House Democrats to "tackle the culture of corruption in Washington."

"It's time to elevate the common interest over special interests, time to return to a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's as simple as that," Phillips said.

A fact sheet on the legislation describes three main goals: improving voting access by making it easier to vote, pushing back on big money in politics through a variety of reforms and making sure that "public officials work for the public interest."

To make it easier to vote, Democrats are promising to "end partisan gerrymandering, stop voter purging, and reaffirm Congress' commitment to restore the Voting Rights Act," the document states.

To take on big money in politics, Democrats aim to "require all political organizations to disclose their donors" and "tighten rules on Super PACs."

To make public officials serve the public interest, the party says it will "expand conflict of interest law, require Presidential disclosure of tax returns, slow the revolving door, prohibit members of Congress from serving on for-profit boards, limit first class travel and end taxpayer financed settlements for officeholders."

Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland described the legislative proposal on Friday as "a broad, comprehensive package of democracy reforms."

The Maryland Democrat argued that the public needs to have confidence in the integrity of elections and their access to the ballot and that voters want officials in Washington to "act with ethics and integrity" and want lawmakers to "represent the American people," not political insiders.

The effort to debut a legislative package even before the next Congress starts is an indication that House Democrats are already working to push a unified message to the American public about what they stand for, what they will do in power, and how they will deliver for voters.

During the news conference on Friday, Pelosi also addressed the fact that congressional oversight of the Trump administration is expected to take center stage as a key priority for House Democrats once the new Congress gavels in.

"Make no mistake, oversight is a congressional responsibility," Pelosi said. "The administration may try to say oversight is investigation. No, oversight is our responsibility ... we will honor our responsibilities."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 341862

Reported Deaths: 7533
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23783441
DeSoto23180283
Harrison20365329
Rankin15307290
Jackson15087251
Madison10917227
Lee10674179
Jones8969169
Forrest8621159
Lauderdale7839243
Lowndes7016151
Lamar696289
Lafayette6535124
Washington5589139
Pearl River5141152
Bolivar4949134
Oktibbeha491698
Panola4766112
Warren4709127
Marshall4691106
Pontotoc446273
Union432579
Monroe4322137
Neshoba4268181
Hancock423788
Lincoln4171116
Pike3650113
Leflore3619125
Tate352888
Alcorn349574
Sunflower347194
Adams340588
Scott340176
Yazoo338575
Copiah323468
Simpson322090
Itawamba314180
Coahoma313385
Tippah304768
Prentiss297863
Covington291883
Leake284675
Marion283681
Wayne276143
George270551
Grenada268888
Newton261564
Tishomingo239370
Winston236584
Jasper229548
Attala225973
Stone225337
Chickasaw218760
Holmes199274
Clay196754
Clarke186280
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181232
Smith178935
Yalobusha171340
Walthall145348
Lawrence141626
Greene139734
Amite136943
Noxubee134835
Perry133238
Montgomery132244
Carroll125931
Webster121032
Jefferson Davis116234
Tunica113427
Benton106225
Claiborne105031
Kemper102329
Humphreys100133
Franklin87723
Quitman84619
Choctaw82319
Wilkinson77732
Jefferson71128
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 577463

Reported Deaths: 11510
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson841981589
Mobile47171860
Madison37047533
Tuscaloosa26915465
Shelby26873256
Montgomery25918625
Baldwin24499328
Lee16949181
Calhoun15252332
Morgan15017290
Etowah14778370
Marshall12933235
Houston11774292
Elmore10761217
St. Clair10617252
Limestone10574158
Cullman10363205
Lauderdale10083254
DeKalb9382191
Talladega8836188
Walker7681287
Autauga7479114
Jackson7317117
Blount7266139
Colbert6635142
Coffee6163132
Dale5453117
Russell470642
Chilton4682117
Covington4649125
Franklin450081
Tallapoosa4440156
Escambia427882
Chambers3898125
Dallas3717163
Clarke367763
Marion3427106
Pike327879
Lawrence3225101
Winston294973
Bibb284565
Geneva276383
Marengo259967
Barbour246261
Pickens240062
Butler238272
Hale232778
Fayette225264
Henry209245
Monroe197241
Randolph196744
Cherokee196348
Washington180139
Macon168752
Crenshaw165558
Clay163759
Cleburne160245
Lamar149938
Lowndes144854
Wilcox130531
Bullock126142
Conecuh119630
Coosa116929
Perry109928
Sumter109032
Greene98736
Choctaw64325
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