Senate Democrats

Freshman Senators Discuss Democrats’ Efforts To Enact Sweeping Ethics And Lobbying Reform

Washington, DC— The freshmen Democratic Senators, elected to send the country in a new direction, today discussed the importance of having the most sweeping ethics and lobbying reform signed into law by the August recess.  They also urged Republicans to stop supporting the status quo on corruption by blocking our reform efforts at every turn.

“We all share a simple American idea of fairness: the ideas that all people should be on equal footing in the halls of Congress,” Senator Amy Klobuchar said. “But, business-as-usual has meant a playing field tilted toward special interests and against the middle class. The people can’t be on equal footing unless this new Congress delivers real, meaningful ethics reform.”

Said Senator Ben Cardin: “We have an ethics bill that represents a significant change in the way elected officials, senior staff and lobbyists would do business.  It calls for more transparency and tougher consequences, all changes that the American people demand.   It’s time for Congress to pass this legislation so that we can restore the faith of Americans in their government.”                      

“Last fall, Congress changed hands because Americans were tired of the corruption, cronyism, and convoluted policies that betrayed our nation,” Senator Sherrod Brown said. “The obstructionists are on the wrong side of history. This legislation would go a long way in bringing back transparency to government and eliminating the pay-to-play culture that has plagued Washington for too long.”

Said Senator Bob Casey: "Since I introduced my campaign ethics plan in 2005 at Jack Abramoff’s D.C. restaurant, ethics reform was one of the top issues that I heard about in Pennsylvania. The voters elected me and my freshman colleagues, in part, because they wanted to change Washington. This legislation makes an important change by increasing transparency and keeping in check the influence of the special interests.”

“As an original co-sponsor of ethics reform legislation to raise standards in Congress and restore Americans’ faith in government, I am a strong believer that government should be open, honest, and responsive to the people it serves,” said Senator Jim Webb. “Americans are yearning for a government that inspires confidence and achieves results. This legislation is a step toward that goal.”

Said Senator Claire McCaskill: “Ethics reform legislation is way overdue. This bill would go a long way towards increasing transparency and accountability in Congress, and I believe it would be a step towards restoring the confidence of the American people.”

“Americans deserve to trust that the ethics abuses of the recent past won’t be repeated,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said.  “It’s time for Senate Republicans to lift the roadblocks so we can do what the American people want: change the way Washington does business.”

Said Senator Jon Tester: “Over the past two years Montanans from every corner of our state have told me how they had grown tired of the ‘business as usual’ ways of Washington, and the Potomac Fever that too many members of Congress had caught.  This freshman class represented a change in the way things get done in Washington.  We were sent here because people from coast-to-coast were sick and tired of steak dinners and campaign contributions being currency for no-bid contracts and golf trips to Scotland.  We passed sweeping ethics reform days after being sworn in.  Congress needs to get this legislation on the President’s desk.”