RETURNING THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE TO THE PEOPLE

Jul 21, 2004
Press Release

Bill targets Republican leadership ignoring rules on floor votes, calling the cops on fellow Members, unethical redistricting, among other actions

WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to ensure that the American people are fully in control of Congress - the people’s house - Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) today introduced the “Restoring Democracy to the U.S. Congress Act of 2004.” This legislation would enact ten specific changes to House and Senate rules. These ten provisions directly relate to abuses under Republican control of the U.S. Congress that have shut down open debate in Washington and prevented accurate representation of the American people.

“The American people expect this to be a thoroughly democratic institution, but when the rules are rigged so that the Republican leadership gets its way every time, the people’s house no longer belongs to the American people,” said Maloney. “When you have votes that are kept open for as much as three hours to change their outcome, when there are allegations of a $100,000 bribe on the House Floor or when you have a redistricting for purely political purposes, there is something wrong with the way Americans are being served and Congress is being run.”

“Americans sent us here, trusting that we would each represent their views and speak with their voices in Washington. Unfortunately, the singular voice of the Republican leadership has drowned out the millions of Americans who happen to disagree with any point of their specific agenda.”

Who is represented? Map

Background:

The Ten Provisions of the “Restoring Democracy to the United States Congress Act of 2004"

1. Limit the time of roll call votes to 17-minutes.
2. Require conference committees to meet and vote before filing their conference report.
3. Prohibit germaneness requirements for conference reports from being waived.
4. Prohibit Members from calling the Capitol Police to have a Member removed from a room.
5. Prohibit redistricting between censuses.
6. Prohibit a vote on legislation unless it has been available in a searchable form online for more than 24 hours.
7. Prohibit bribery on the House Floor
8. Prohibit the hacking into Member’s computer files
9. Prohibit committees from spending more than $25,000 a year on franked mail.
10. Guarantee the Minority a minimum of 1/3 of the overall committee budget.

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