MANCHESTER , NH—During a roundtable discussion with New Hampshire voters in Manchester today, U.S. Senator Barack Obama announced a series of initiatives to restore the American people’s trust in their government by making government more transparent.
“It’s no secret that most Americans think the country is on the wrong track,” Obama told the group. “But the reason isn’t just failed policies. It’s a system in Washington that has failed the American people. A system that has not kept the most fundamental trust of American democracy: that our government is of the people, and that it must govern for all the people – not just the interests of the wealthy and well-connected.”
Saying that Washington has failed to address the issues that matter most to Americans, Obama outlined his plans to make government more transparent, including:
Lifting the curtain on connections between lobbyists and Members of Congress by creating a centralized database of lobbying reports, congressional ethics records, and campaign finance filings available on the internet in a searchable, sortable and downloadable format,
Expanding lobbying disclosure rules to include lobbyists seeking government contracts and presidential pardons,
Enforcing congressional lobbying laws and ethics rules through an independent entity,
Creating an “contracts and influence” database which will disclose how much federal contractors spend on lobbying, and ensuring citizens have easy access to contract details and contractor performance.
Full details of the plans Obama announced today can be viewed HERE.
“We’re not going to be able to change America unless we challenge this system that isn’t working for us and hasn’t for a long time,” Obama said. “Now I know some will say that we can’t make this change. That the culture of corrosive influence in politics is too sprawling to spotlight. Or that the lobbyists writing our laws represent real Americans.
“That’s not how I see it. Because when it comes to what’s wrong with this country, the American people are not the problem. The American people are the answer. The American people want to trust in our government again – we just need a government that will trust in us. And making government accountable to the people isn’t just a cause of this campaign – it’s been a cause of my life for two decades.”
Senator Obama is a long-time leader in the effort to reform government. As a State Senator in Illinois, Obama passed the first campaign finance reform in 25 years. In the U.S. Senate, Obama took on both parties to help pass major ethics and lobbying reform legislation. And earlier this year in a speech in Manchester, Obama pledged to that on his first day in the White House he would enact the most sweeping ethics reform in history.