PITTSBURGH, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), today announced endorsement of 'The Government by the People Act' (H.R. 20) introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) to break the grip of big money in politics and put elections back into the hands of everyday Americans.
"The Government by the People Act deserves popular support of all working Americans," declared USW President Gerard. "It will secure the intent of the nation's founders to empower voters and not multinational corporations, Super PACs, and unnamed dark money that threatens our democratic voices." He said: "USW members and their families will join the coalition of supporters to advocate passage of the bill to reverse the unlimited bankrolling of politicians by billionaire donors so a representative democracy works for us all."
More than 130 Members of Congress are original co-sponsors of H.R. 20, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Both Pelosi and Congressman Sarbanes jointly wrote a column in the Washington Post, citing the impact over the past four years of the Supreme Court's 'Citizens United' decision. "The narrow court majority, overturning decades of precedent, opened the floodgates to millions of dollars in secret, special interest spending on elections."
Pelosi and Sarbanes said: "Our Founders established a government of the many, not a government of the money. That's what the American people deserve."
The Government by the People Act would change how we finance our elections by encouraging candidates for federal office to rely on a large number of small donations from their voters back home. It would empower ordinary voters and hold members of Congress accountable to the people who put them in office – not the biggest bankroll.
Here's how it would work:
- Contributions of $1 to $150 would be matched on a six-to-one basis by a newly-created "Freedom from Influence Fund." Large contributions would not qualify for any match. The fund would be financed by closing corporate tax loopholes.
- The first $25 contributed by small donors would qualify for a "My Voice" refundable tax credit.
- Every candidate's contributions from the new fund would be capped, and there would be strict enforcement of campaign finance laws, including disclosure of all donations.
Learn more about the Government by the People Act at: www.ofby.us
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, plus the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.
Contact: Gary Hubbard, 202-256-8125; firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)