Obama promises sweeping government reform
- Will take place on January 20, 2013
- Quoted on June 27, 2008
- Countdown Expired
- Votes 2
- Chance 50.0 %
- Influence 69
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Friday he will clean up Washington on his first day in office with a government reform package aimed at reducing the growing power of lobbyists.
"It's time to renew a people's politics in this country -- to ensure that the hopes and concerns of average Americans speak louder in Washington than the hallway whispers of high-priced lobbyists," he said.
The Illinois senator said he will ban political appointees who leave their jobs during his administration from lobbying the executive branch for the remainder of his time in office. Those who join his administration will not be able to work on regulations or contracts directly related to their former employers for two years.
"When I am president, I will make it absolutely clear that working in an Obama administration is not about serving your former employer, your future employer or your bank account -- it's about serving your country, and that's what comes first," he said at New Hampshire Community Technical College.
Under the current administration, Washington lobbyists have turned government "into a game only they can afford to play," Obama said. "A game played on a field that's no longer level, but rigged to always favor their own narrow agendas."
"In our democracy, the price of access and influence should be nothing more than your voice and your vote," he said. "That should be enough for health care reform. That should be enough for a real energy policy."
Obama's plan also calls for ending the abuse of no-bid contracts, restoring objectivity to the executive branch and increasing public access to information.
He promised to post any non-emergency bill on the Internet for five days before signing it to give the public a chance to review and comment. Videos of agency meetings also would be available online, and communications about regulatory policy-making between White House staff and people outside government would be made public.
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