September 22, 2016

Hoyer, House Democrats Discuss Renewing Faith in Government Agenda

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined with Reps. John Sarbanes (MD-03), Terri Sewell (AL-07), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), and Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) to discuss ways in which Congress can work to restore the American people's faith in government. 

In July, Whip Hoyer spoke at the Georgetown University Law Center to unveil the "Renewing Faith in Government" agenda. It includes proposals on campaign finance reform, redistricting reform, voting rights, and modernizing government technology. One of the proposals in the agenda is Whip Hoyer’s bill to modernize government technology through the creation of the Information Technology Modernization Fund, a cost-saving fund aimed at improving cybersecurity by replacing antiquated government IT systems with easy-to-maintain, high-functioning, and transparent systems.  His proposal was included in the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which was considered by the House today.

Click here to learn more about the "Renewing Faith in Government" agenda. 

“As this election season has shown us, Americans don’t believe government can get things done for them and we have to change that,” said Whip Hoyer. “As part of a ‘Renewing Faith in Government’ agenda, I outlined four critical steps that we ought to be taking to make Congress and the federal government more responsive, more effective, and more trusted by the American people. This afternoon, I am pleased that the House is considering a bill that is part of our agenda: the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which includes the Information Technology Modernization Act I Introduced earlier this year. This legislation will help federal agencies rapidly upgrade technology systems to improve efficiency, boost cybersecurity, and save money over the long term. It will also help keep Americans’ private information safer and help build the foundation of a 21st century government. It is an important first step, and I thank my colleagues who joined me for working to advance this effort of renewing faith in government.”

“Across the political spectrum, Americans believe that special interests and big money donors call the shots in Washington,” said Congressman Sarbanes, author of the Government By the People Act. “Part of the ‘Make It In America’ agenda must be to restore people’s faith in our government. That’s why we must reform our campaign finance system to make everyday Americans just as powerful as the big-money donors and return us to a government of, by and for the people.”

“There is an incredible need for us to renew the trust that American people have that their vote counts and they can voice their concerns,” said Congresswoman Sewell. “For the first time in over 50 years we won’t have the full protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As elected officials, we should be standing for the proposition of making it easier for people to vote and not putting up barriers. This is why H.R. 2867, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 is so important. Your vote is your voice.  No vote, no voice.  It is seminal that we stand up for every American to exercise their right to vote.”

“My district is home to some of the most innovative minds in the world and by tapping these resources, we can help renew Americans’ faith in government services,” Congresswoman DelBene said. “That’s why I introduced legislation to extend the life of the U.S. Digital Service (USDS), a low-cost way to improve government use of technology, save taxpayer dollars and provide people the quality of government services they deserve. The more our laws are forward-looking and reflective of the technological advances being made, the better off our economy and government will be.”

“I am proud to join Whip Steny Hoyer in working to renew the American people’s faith in our government and to make it more responsive to the needs of its citizens," said Congresswoman Brownley. "We can start by changing the way our districts are drawn to better serve our citizens, instead of politicians and their parties.  We must pass legislation for redistricting reform that would truly create a government of, by, and for the people, and I will continue to lead this effort.”

“I’m proud to join Whip Hoyer’s push to restore Americans’ faith in government and to help people Make it in America,” said Congressman Kilmer. “As part of this effort we are offering proposals that use technology to make government more effective, efficient, and transparent. It’s time to unleash innovations that can improve the responsiveness of government and make positive change.”  

“I applaud Congressman Hoyer for leading the effort to modernize government technology and agree with him – the American people cannot fully tap into our economic opportunities unless government works, too,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “We as policy makers can deliver positive impacts to our constituents’ day-to-day lives when we invest in technology and upgrade government systems. For instance, my bill, the Less Traffic with Smart Stop Lights Act, would reduce congestion, improve safety, reduce fuel costs, and reduce air pollution. By actively showing the American people that we are making real improvements, we stand a chance at restoring the community’s faith in government.”