Democrats announced on Tuesday that an anti-corruption bill will be their first priority if they’re able to take back the House, per Vox. Representative John Sarbanes of Maryland, who has a history of standing against corruption in the past, is taking the lead on this bill and aims to tackle the issue head on.
It’s hard to see the relevance of this bill in our political climate, with money from the NRA pouring into the pockets of lawmakers being just a single example. The bill is aimed at controlling those bribes—sorry, lobbying—to keep representatives’ interests focused on their constituents, rather than on their already exorbitant paychecks.
Back in August, Elizabeth Warren introduced her own anti-corruption bill. Sarbanes goes a step further with a plan to fund campaigns publicly: The bill would force the government to match small campaign donations at a ratio of 6:1, so long as the recipient has promised not to take PAC money. Although funds from organizations like the NRA are staggering, this could be the push reformers need to take them down.
Focusing on these two areas means that the bill would affect a huge range of politicians, right down to voters. A system that matches campaign donations 6:1 turns $10 into $70. That’s the type of incentive that could turn voters into first-time donors, and, hopefully, restore their faith in the political system.
Sarbanes sees the issues in his own party, as well. Just a few weeks ago, establishment Democrats encouraged a Muslim gubernatorial candidate, Abdul El-Sayed, to bow out of the race. If this bill goes through in 2019, it could mean big shake-ups on both sides of the aisle.