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WASHINGTON – In less than a day, more than 164,000 people and dozens of leading pro-democracy organizations have signed onto a petition and letter demanding than Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senators delay hearings for Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees until ethics reviews are complete.

The sign-on letter was started Monday by People’s Action, a national grassroots advocacy organization, for groups to sign. In the late afternoon, People’s Action launched a corresponding petition through MoveOn to gather individual signatures.

“Sen. McConnell and senators from both parties have a duty to uphold the Constitution and protect our democracy. Instead, Mr. McConnell seems bound and determined to run roughshod over the democratic process,” said LeeAnn Hall and George Goehl, co-directors of People’s Action.

“Americans have a right to know about conflicts of interest that may ensue from the extensive financial holdings of Mr. Trump’s nominees,” they said.

The process that People’s Action and other organizations are calling for is the same that has been routinely used by Congress to vet the appointees of an incoming administration, and is in fact what McConnell himself called for when President Obama made his cabinet picks in 2009.

In addition to People’s Action, some of the more than 60 other signers on the letter include government accountability organizations like the Sunlight Foundation,Public Citizen and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; civil rights groups like The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights;  labor unions such as the Communications Workers of America; environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Greenpeace USA; religious organizations like the National Council of Jewish Women, and grassroots advocacy organizations like CREDO, MoveOn.org Civic Action, National Domestic Workers Alliance, PICO National Network, and Center for Community Change Action. Actor Mark Ruffalo was among some of the first signers of the joint petition.

Together, these groups represent a wide swath of America’s workers and families. Other organizations continue to sign on. Please follow this link to view the letter and full list groups that have joined us in signing: http://bit.ly/2jbhecv

FULL TEXT OF LETTER

Dear Senator Mitch McConnell and United States Senators:

On Saturday, the Office of Government Ethics reported that several of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees have not completed the ethics review process. Many of Mr. Trump’s nominees have extensive financial holdings that may present serious conflicts of interest.

We stand opposed to holding confirmation hearings for Mr. Trump’s nominees until their ethics reviews have been completed. The hearings and votes must be delayed to ensure due diligence in this vital democratic process.

The role of the president and of U.S. legislators is to uphold the Constitution, democracy, and our most cherished values as a nation. Rushing the confirmation process without completing adequate ethics reviews before confirmation hearings endangers all three.

 

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People’s Action is a national organization of more than a million people across 30 states working for economic, racial, gender and climate justice – and to ensure everyone a voice in our political system. From family farms to big cities, from coast to coast, we’re fighting for community over greed, justice over racism, and people and planet over big corporations.

 

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About People’s Action Institute

Over five decades, People’s Action Institute and our affiliates have fought for reforms that recognize poor and working people’s dignity and make material and political improvements to millions of lives. Our victories include the Community Reinvestment Act, Superfund, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and the MAT Act.

We engage in issue campaigns, public education and training to advance a long-term agenda for racial, economic and gender justice. Our focus now is on deepening community organizing so we can build lasting power across the country. 

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