The American people are fed up with the way that business is conducted in Washington. I'm frustrated too and that's why I am working with my colleagues to improve the way the government and Congress work for you, not the special interests. The federal government and Congress need to be transparent and accountable; campaigns need to highlight candidates with the best and biggest ideas, not the candidates with the best and biggest checkbooks; and the U.S. Senate needs to be an institution of deliberation and action, not a graveyard for good ideas. We need to take a good look at how we do business in Washington and regain the confidence of the American people.
Campaign Finance Reform
In the U.S. House of Representatives, I helped introduce sweeping campaign finance reform aimed at breaking the tie between money and politics for good by ending political donations and I plan to reintroduce similar legislation in the Senate. The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down long-standing campaign finance laws limiting corporate influence on elections. In response, I'm also planning on introducing the best long-term solution to this problem, a constitutional amendment preserving the voice of the American people in the face of corporations and other special interests.
Reforming Senate Rules
Today in the Senate, we have a system of rules that allows legislation to be held hostage by a single senator. At best, this slows the progress of important legislation in the Senate to a snail's pace. At worst, the Senate has become a graveyard for good ideas. My predecessor, New Mexico's own Senator Clinton Anderson once pushed for the Senate to take at look at its rules at the beginning of each session, as laid out by our Constitution. Following in the tradition of Sen. Anderson, I am calling on the Senate to exercise its Constitutional right to adopt its rules by a simple majority vote and reform what's not working.
Increasing Accountability and Transparency
One of the best ways to improve government accountability is to increase transparency. That is why during my career in public service I have supported rules and procedures to require disclosure of funding known as "earmarks," or "Legislative Directed Initiatives." As a U.S. Representative, I was the first in our delegation to post my funding requests online for constituents see.