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

Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis Washington state rep joins list of Republicans voting to impeach Trump Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment 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 PelosiWoman accused of trying to sell Pelosi laptop to Russians arrested Conspiracies? Let's investigate this one FBI investigating whether woman took Pelosi laptop, tried to sell it to Russians 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 McConnellWhat would MLK say about Trump and the Republican Party? Biden's minimum wage push faces uphill battle with GOP GOP senators wrestle with purging Trump from party MORE (R-Ky.) has already indicated that he would not support such a bill. 

— Tess Bonn