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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: 156868

Reported Deaths: 3851
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10409104
Hinds10279202
Harrison7313112
Jackson6566128
Rankin5887106
Lee529496
Madison5014107
Forrest389786
Jones369088
Lauderdale3594147
Lafayette338253
Washington3246108
Lamar297850
Oktibbeha252362
Lowndes247064
Bolivar244384
Panola232653
Neshoba2249121
Marshall222851
Leflore208591
Monroe206778
Pontotoc204231
Lincoln197366
Sunflower192655
Warren180258
Tate177751
Union171926
Copiah167940
Pike165359
Yazoo160140
Scott159430
Itawamba157635
Alcorn155628
Pearl River155368
Coahoma152743
Simpson152653
Prentiss151331
Adams144752
Grenada143345
Leake139744
Holmes133461
Covington128639
Tippah128430
George128325
Winston125526
Hancock124341
Wayne121323
Marion119446
Attala119334
Tishomingo112443
Chickasaw109432
Newton108229
Tallahatchie98127
Clay94727
Clarke93653
Jasper85223
Stone80615
Calhoun78713
Walthall77629
Montgomery76926
Carroll74115
Lawrence73814
Smith73216
Yalobusha73128
Noxubee72717
Perry68326
Tunica62619
Greene61522
Jefferson Davis59017
Claiborne58916
Amite56615
Humphreys54719
Benton50018
Quitman5007
Webster46714
Kemper45018
Wilkinson40522
Jefferson37112
Choctaw3617
Franklin3555
Sharkey32417
Issaquena1204
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 252900

Reported Deaths: 3638
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33526501
Mobile20103365
Madison13723151
Tuscaloosa13366154
Montgomery12552236
Shelby1079677
Baldwin9051137
Lee787266
Morgan696451
Calhoun6598121
Etowah656167
Marshall647357
Houston541038
DeKalb498137
Cullman462443
St. Clair441956
Limestone440445
Lauderdale426754
Elmore421164
Walker3735111
Talladega370157
Jackson340423
Colbert332042
Blount306140
Autauga281842
Franklin257434
Coffee250015
Dale239054
Dallas231532
Chilton228939
Russell22663
Covington225034
Escambia202331
Tallapoosa187291
Chambers182750
Pike161514
Clarke161019
Marion144736
Winston137523
Lawrence133436
Pickens126518
Geneva12508
Marengo123424
Bibb120418
Barbour118911
Butler118642
Randolph105522
Cherokee105124
Hale98131
Fayette94616
Washington93219
Clay92824
Henry8896
Monroe83011
Lowndes80929
Cleburne78814
Macon75522
Crenshaw72230
Bullock70119
Lamar7018
Conecuh70014
Perry6916
Wilcox64818
Sumter58622
Greene43518
Choctaw43114
Coosa3664
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