The mission of government matters; however, we can’t lead effectively if we don’t have the people’s trust. That’s why I believe Justice Brandeis said it best when he said, “Sunlight is the best of disinfectants.” To rebuild the people’s trust in our democracy, we need a government that does all it can to be transparent and provide the public with the tools they need to hold our government accountable.
As founder and chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, I have worked hard to make the federal government more accessible and open to the public. My comprehensive transparency legislation, the Transparency in Government Act (TGA), includes reforms that will shine a light on every branch of the federal government, strengthening our democracy, and promoting an efficient, effective, and open government. I have also prioritized legislation that would make congressionally mandated reports easily accessible to the public, increase oversight in the judiciary by allowing cameras in courtrooms, and require federal agencies to publish congressional budget justifications on a centralized website.
Rep. Quigley serves as the co-chair on the bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus and holds regular briefings on the challenges Congress faces as it works to bring greater transparency to Capitol Hill.
Additionally, under the Trump administration, I have become increasingly alarmed at how the President encourages violations of one of the bedrock legal guardrails of our democracy, the Hatch Act; carelessly obstructs government watchdogs when they try to discipline lawbreakers; flagrantly ignores disclosure requirements; provides limited access to White House visitor logs; and disregards ethics regulations pertaining to conflicts of interest in which his business deals and personal interests conflict with his public duties as President. In response, I have introduced bills like the RNC ACT, or the Reducing Nefarious Crimes Act, to increase penalties for violating the Hatch Act, and the MAR-A-LAGO Act, to require disclosure of visitor logs at the White House and other Trump properties where official business is conducted. As a member of Congress, I believe it is my duty and that of my colleagues to hold the Executive Branch accountable and carry out our constitutional responsibility to provide thorough oversight of the federal government.
By taking action now, we can restore Americans’ faith in government and prove to the public that we are worthy of the responsibility they have entrusted us with. Increasing transparency and accountability in government is not only the key to increasing public trust; it is the key to improving the government.
More on Government Transparency
U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Doug Collins (GA-09) introduced the Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act (H.R. 4894), which gives the public access to how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. This bill would improve government transparency by requiring federal agencies to post their congressional budget justifications on a centralized, searchable website, including each agency’s own website.
Last week, Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), Sean Casten (IL-06), and Paul Tonko (NY-20) introduced the Preserve Science in Policymaking Act of 2019. The bill would prevent the President from unilaterally dissolving Federal Advisory Committees – groups of scientists and academics that advise the executive branch on how to make their regulations evidence-based – without the approval of apolitical civil servants and a public notice and comment period.
On Friday, Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) introduced legislation to increase transparency and accountability within the U.S. government. The bill will give the American people greater insight into how the executive branch interprets and implements federal law.
Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) released the following statement after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would be opening a formal impeachment inquiry:
“Donald Trump’s use of the office of the presidency to pressure a foreign government to interfere in our elections is an unprecedented abuse of power and an impeachable offense.
“I announced my support for opening an impeachment inquiry in May after it became clear that the President’s obstruction of legitimate congressional investigations was preventing us from carrying out our duties.