Lieu says passage of anti-corruption bill is key to tackling climate change, health care

Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuTestimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense Lawmakers, social media users praise photo of Pelosi confronting Trump Democrats eye Pompeo testimony MORE (D-Calif.) said during an interview that aired Tuesday that passing House Democrats’ anti-corruption bill is crucial to addressing more complex issues like health care and climate change.

Lieu said on “Rising” that special interests and lobby groups continue to dominate policymaking in Washington and the political reform bill — commonly referred to as “H.R. 1” — will help level the playing field for other legislative initiatives.

“The reason we’re making it our first bill is because, as Democrats, we can’t tackle the substantive issues of climate change, of health care and other issues without first equalizing the playing field,” he told actor Richard Schiff. 

“We can’t have a playing field where corporate interests and special interests continue to have the upper hand and what H.R. 1 [does] is to set the table so that everyone has a fair shot at getting their legislation through that helps the American people,” the California Democrat continued.

Last week, Democrats officially introduced H.R. 1 and signaled it as their top priority in the new Congress.

The wide-ranging legislation, which is co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCummings to lie in state at the Capitol House Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union —Dem wants more changes to Pelosi drug pricing bill | Ebola outbreak wanes, but funding lags | Johnson & Johnson recalls batch of baby powder after asbestos traces found MORE, looks to expand voting rights, reduce the power of big money in political campaigns, and strengthen the government’s ethics laws.

Lieu said he is "very excited" about the bill and emphasized the need to “root out corruption” in Washington. He also insisted that corruption in politics is a bipartisan issue.

“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or Independent, you don’t want to see corruption in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

The anti-corruption overhaul, however, has little chance of making it past the Republican-controlled Senate.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Trump's troop pull back in Syria a 'grave strategic mistake' Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump insists Turkey wants cease-fire | Fighting continues in Syrian town | Pentagon chief headed to Mideast | Mattis responds to criticism from Trump TSA head rules himself out for top DHS job   MORE (R-Ky.) has already indicated that he would not support such a bill. 

— Tess Bonn