Maloney, Delgado back House Democrats’ leadoff reform bill

Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Antonio Delgado joined 216 other House Democrats this month in co-sponsoring a 571-page leadoff bill for their newly empowered caucus that combines pent-up priorities such as forcing public disclosure of “dark money” campaign donors, ending gerrymandering and requiring states to allow early voting.

The bill, dubbed the “For the People Act” and backed at the outset by nearly the entire caucus, was the first bill for the new Democratic majority and was presented as a sweeping series of reforms involving voting rights, congressional ethics, campaign finances and other areas.

“People trust Washington about as much as they trust gas station sushi,” Maloney, a Cold Spring Democrat starting his fourth term in Washington, said in a statement about the bill. “It wasn’t always that way and it doesn’t have to be anymore. People want big money out of politics, they want their elected officials to act honorably, and they want a strong democracy that protects everyone’s right to vote. This is the first bill I’m on this Congress because cleaning up Washington should be a priority for everyone who works down here.”

Delgado, a Rhinebeck Democrat who unseated Republican Rep. John Faso in November, said in his own statement: “Corporate power is commanding way too much attention in Washington; it is time that our government be responsive to the will of the people rather than the interests of a wealthy few and big corporations. This historic bill will help strengthen everyday Americans’ power in our democracy and raise the bar for ethics in Washington.”

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