For Immediate Release
Fair Elections Bill Stands Best Chance in Decades for Passage
Statement of Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division
WASHINGTON - Public Citizen applauds the rapid and solid support
building for passage of the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826),
sponsored by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones (R-NC).
While Congress grapples with the nation's most pressing problems,
the House Committee on Administration recognizes that the problem of
money in politics must be as high a priority for Congress as it is for
the American people. With the committee scheduled to hold a full
hearing on the act Thursday, there are already more than 70 bipartisan
co-sponsors spanning a wide swath of the major caucuses in Congress.
The Fair Elections Now Act (FENA) is the second part of a two-punch
reform effort that began as early as 2006. The first part was the
Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which the 110th Congress
adopted by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote. The Honest Leadership and
Open Government Act implemented sweeping lobbying and ethics reforms,
reining in undue influence-peddling through lobbyist-financed wining
and dining and opening the books on the financial activities of
lobbyists through real-time quarterly lobbying reports and disclosure
of political contributions. Having achieved that great success,
Congress is now turning to reform the way in which campaign money
The 111th Congress stands at the brink of fundamentally changing
"politics as usual." Since the lobbyist corruption scandals in early
2006, Americans have demanded dramatic changes in Washington, greater
transparency in government and more accountability for money in
politics. Many of these reforms have already been adopted. Now the most
crucial reform - reducing the role of special interest money in
campaigns - is before Congress.
The time has come for public financing of congressional elections.
READ Public Citizen's written testimony submitted to the House Administration Committee.
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.