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Chairman Yarmuth’s Floor Remarks in Support of the Protecting Our Democracy Act

Dec 9, 2021

Washington, D.C.— Today, Kentucky Representative John Yarmuth, Chair of the House Budget Committee, spoke on the House Floor in support of the Protecting Our Democracy Act. This sweeping package of reforms, which includes Chairman Yarmuth’s Congressional Power of the Purse Act, will restore our system of checks and balances, strengthen accountability and transparency, and protect our elections. Chairman Yarmuth’s remarks, as prepared, are below:

M. Speaker, Democracy is not static – it is not self-effectuating. It requires a concerted effort to keep and a willingness to stand up against those who would seek to undermine it. The bill before us reaffirms our commitment to democracy…. to transparency, accountability, and a strong system of checks and balances.

Our Founders knew that the power of the purse would be fundamental to the separation of powers, and to our democratic government itself. And they explicitly gave that power to Congress – the branch most responsive to the will of the people.

However, over the past few decades, the Executive branch has encroached on our constitutional spending authority and dangerous precedents have been set. Presidents and agencies of both parties have pushed the boundaries, seeking more control of spending powers. And the previous Administration’s disregard for the rule of law and contempt for institutional norms made even more clear the need for laws that can withstand a lawless Executive.

The commonsense reforms in this landmark legislation will restore Congress’ central role in funding decision, increase executive transparency, and add teeth to our budget laws. None of these provisions or the many others in this legislation are partisan. After all, this bill was introduced during the Trump Administration, and is being advanced during the Biden Administration. It is solely about shoring up the separation of powers and maintaining the rule of law.

Therefore, I encourage my colleagues on both sides to uphold our obligation to defend the Constitution and vote yes on the Protecting our Democracy Act. I yield back.

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