Press Releases

Katie Porter Releases Plan To “Shake Up the Senate” and Fight Corruption in Washington

Porter calls for a complete ban on donations from federal lobbyists and corporations and an end to earmarks, once and for all

Porter is the only candidate in the U.S. Senate race to refuse contributions from federal lobbyists, not submit earmark requests, and never have taken a single check from a corporate PAC. 

IRVINE – Today, Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA), candidate for the U.S. Senate in California, formally released her plan to overhaul the U.S. Senate, clean up corruption, and get the federal government functioning for all Americans. Dubbed the Shake Up the Senate plan, these policy proposals will help bring the U.S. Senate into the 21st century with fundamental reforms meant to stop our laws and regulations from being auctioned off to the highest bidders. Porter’s plan also holds leaders accountable to the people they are supposed to serve.

“For too long, greedy corporations have spent billions in campaign donations to purchase friendly laws and lawmakers, creating a rigged economy stacked against everyday people. It’s time for this legal corruption to end,” said Porter. “I’m proud to release my Shake Up the Senate plan because, as I’ve often said, I didn’t go to Washington to play by the rules but to rewrite them. That’s why I am calling for a total ban on lobbyist and corporate contributions for any member of the U.S. Senate. Billionaires and multinational corporations have too much say over what happens in Washington – we must return the power to everyday Americans.”   

Shake Up the Senate Plan – Core Tenets

  1. Ban Federal Lobbyist Contributions: We should ban all members of the U.S. Senate from accepting federal lobbyist contributions. Katie is one of 11 members of Congress who rejects contributions from federal lobbyists — but this pledge should be the rule, not the exception. Too many elected officials continue to have their hands out to lobbyists and the special interests that employ them. Let’s end this legalized corruption and get Washington working for regular people. 
  1. Ban Corporate PAC Donations: We should ban all members of the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives from accepting donations from corporate political action committees (PACs). Katie is the only candidate for U.S. Senate in California who has never taken a dime from corporate PACs. Multinational corporations unfairly dominate Washington and our legal system, drowning out the voices of everyday Americans by making campaign donations to politicians. 
  1. Eliminate Pet-project Funding for Politicians, also known as Earmarks: We should ban earmarks and redirect money to the communities and projects that need it the most. Currently, members of Congress can use the earmarks to steer funds to their well-connected donors and friends. This process negates the advice of neutral experts and on-the-ground leaders who are best equipped to help determine which resources are most needed, where, and how to deliver them effectively and efficiently. Neutrality is especially critical to ensuring historically disadvantaged areas and communities of color receive the funding they need to build thriving and resilient local economies. 
  1. Ban Senators from Trading Stocks: We must ban top officials – from the President to Supreme Court Justices to members of Congress – from trading individual stocks while in office. Porter swore upon her election that she wouldn’t trade stocks – and has kept her promise. She also recently introduced the STOCK Act 2.0 with Senator Gillibrand, aiming to ban certain government officials and their families from owning and trading individual stocks or other financially conflicted interests. The bill would cover Congress, Supreme Court justices, both the President and Vice President, leaders of the Federal Reserve, and their spouses and dependents.
  2. Ban Singular Holds on Nominations and Abolish the Filibuster: No single United States Senator should be able to halt the body’s business. We need to do away with the filibuster and allowing any member to put a hold on bills and nominations. Things should be coming to the floor for a vote, not stuck in limbo. Americans everywhere deserve to know where their elected officials stand. 
  1. Make the Senate Accountable to the People: Katie is one of just a handful of Congressmembers who publicly releases every official meeting she takes to show Californians how she’s spending her time fighting for them. She’s introduced legislation to require her colleagues to do the same and to boost transparency of elected officials’ taxpayer-funded travel. These reforms would bring much-needed accountability to the legislative branch and root out waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars.