Yesterday, Representative John Sarbanes held a press conference where he highlighted his bill, the Government by the People Act, which will help to “empower millions of everyday Americans to take back their government from big money special interests.” LCV’s Legislative Director Sara Chieffo spoke out in support of the bill, stating “The Government by the People Act seeks to re-establish what our Founders intended—a government that answers to the people, not the super wealthy few.”
You can read Sara’s full speech below:
Good morning – my name is Sara Chieffo and I am the legislative director for the League of Conservation Voters.
I want to thank Congressman Sarbanes for his leadership introducing the Government by the People Act.
It has been four years since the Supreme Court narrowly decided the Citizens United case resulting in an explosion of money from big polluters in politics.
This same court just made wealthy polluters even more powerful with the McCutcheon decision. Putting a thumb on the scale for the super wealthy like the Koch Brothers. These two cases have opened the floodgates to corporate polluters to drown out the voices of Americans nationwide.
As an environmental advocate working on Capitol Hill, I see the influence this polluter money has every single day. Congress has ground to a halt on environmental protection.
Since 2011, we have seen the most radical U.S. House of Representatives in our nation’s history pass literally hundreds of anti-environmental bills – attacking our nation’s cornerstone environmental and public health laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act -- to name just a few.
The Government by the People Act seeks to re-establish what our Founders intended – a government that answers to the people, not the super wealthy few. People across the country are frustrated and disturbed by the influence wielded by those who can write the biggest check and bend government’s will to benefit those who pollute our air, our water, and block all action to address dangerous climate change.
I commend Congressman Sarbanes for his leadership to boost the influence of small donors and help millions more Americans play a central role in determining who runs for Congress, who wins elections, and what issues make it onto the agenda in Washington.
For over 40 years, the League of Conservation Voters has been advocating for environmental policies, holding lawmakers of both parties accountable for their votes and actions, and running campaigns to elect and defeat candidates. We are proud to stand with Congressman Sarbanes and our allies who are supporting real reform that gets special interest money out of politics and puts the people back in charge.