I came to Congress in 2006 determined to help restore integrity to Washington after years of corruption and malfeasance. In November of 2006, the American people spoke clearly for change in the way business was done in Washington. They demanded not just high ethical standards, but also transparency and accountability.
During the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress, House Democrats passed a landmark rules package to clean up Washington and sever unethical ties between lawmakers and lobbyists, including banning travel and gifts given to Members of Congress from lobbyists, and requiring full transparency to end the abuse of special interest earmarks.
|Congressman Yarmuth in Committee|
Congress took further action to end the culture of corruption in Washington and shine a light on the interaction between lobbyists and legislators by requiring an unprecedented level of disclosure, guaranteeing information about expenditures, Member travel, and personal financial holdings is available, in a searchable form, on the Internet. In addition, the House of Representatives passed a resolution establishing an independent ethics commission, made up of non-Congressional personnel, to screen allegations and initiate reviews of complaints of misconduct and ethical improprieties by Members of Congress and staff of the House. In addition, the House passed a critical measure to deny taxpayer-funded pension benefits to House members convicted of corruption while serving the American people.
I also believe reforming our current campaign finance laws is essential to ensure accountability and transparency. That is why I support public financing of campaigns for federal offices, which will help ensure that elections remain the cornerstone of democracy. In the 112th Congress, I introduced a Constitutional amendment to get money out of politics. By reducing the influence of special interest money, we will also ensure that the legislative priorities in Washington truly reflect the needs of the American people.
For the 112th Congress, I was proud to be selected by House Leadership to serve on the Committee on Ethics, which investigates violations of the House's Code of Official Conduct and recommends disciplinary action.
I am proud of what we have achieved so far. But there is still much to accomplish, and I will continue to work with the Obama Administration to protect our democracy by guaranteeing an open and honest government.