Today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-Fairport) was sworn in for her 14th term in Congress. In her first official act as Ranking Member on the House Rules Committee for the 113th Congress, Slaughter fought to bring to the House floor measures to ban secret money in elections and improve access to voting. Slaughter used her floor remarks to urge her colleagues to seek common ground and deliver results for the American public.
"The overwhelming influence of money in politics and the discriminatory attacks on Americans' right to vote have distorted our electoral system and helped to create a broken legislative process that is failing to serve the American public," said Congresswoman Slaughter. "As we open the 113th Congress, my Democratic colleagues and I stand ready to work with the Majority on fixing our broken electoral system and getting back to a bipartisan legislative process that is worthy of the citizens who sent us here today."
Rep. Slaughter joined her Democratic colleagues in an effort to bring two pieces of legislation to the House Floor for a vote. The first proposal was an amendment to the United States Constitution that would overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and stop the secret and unlimited flow of corporate and special interest money into elections. The second proposal was the SIMPLE Voting Act, which would guarantee voters wait in line no longer than one hour and require that every polling station in the country have the resources it needs to run a smooth and fair election.
Unfortunately, the House Republican Majority blocked these bills, and instead, approved a measure that re-adopts the Ryan Budget and the dangerous budget cuts it contains, continues wasting taxpayer money to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act in federal court, and loosens certain ethics rules to make it easier for Members of Congress and their staffs to use private planes.
Slaughter also called for a more transparent process in the 113th Congress, citing the political brinksmanship, dysfunction and lack of productivity that defined the previous Congress and threatened the American economy.
"The previous Congress -- one of the least productive sessions in the history of the republic -- was trademarked by embarrassing dysfunction and manufactured crises, from the debt ceiling debacle to the recent fiscal cliff fiasco," Congresswoman Slaughter said. "Today, the Majority had an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and finally govern in an open, collaborative and bipartisan fashion. Unfortunately, their rules package today signals that we are in for more of the hyper-partisan, self-serving political grandstanding that has plagued this House for far too long."