House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., left, speaks with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., as congressional Democrats gather on the steps of the Capitol to promote their

Congressional Democrats on Monday unveiled another plank in their 2018 campaign platform — this one calling for a crackdown on the “pay-to-play culture of corruption, cronyism and incompetences embodied by the Trump administration.”

Their plan — “A Better Deal for Our Democracy” — demands tighter campaign finance and ethics laws, seeks to reduce the influence of big money in politics and calls for ending partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said the effort is needed to combat “one of the most compromised, corrupt administrations in history.”

“Instead of delivering on his promise to drain the swamp, President Trump has become the swamp,” Mrs. Pelosi said on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. “Republicans and The White House are cravenly beholden to big money interest and the American people are paying the price.”

Less than six months out from the election, the jury is out on whether Democrats have crafted a powerful enough message to fully capitalize on the anti-Trump “resistance” movement and the rise of populism in the United States.

Democrats launched the first of their “Better Deal” policy plans last summer.

They have made the case that the working-class voters that played a key role in electing President Trump have suffered on his watch, while the rich have gotten richer and special interest groups have flourished.

“From giveaways to dirty energy polluters, our children are paying the price in the air they breathe and the water they drink,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “The giveaways in tax breaks for Wall Street and wealthy corporations shipping jobs overseas, our workers and the middle-class are paying the price.”

Democrats hope their message will strengthen the party’s appeal ahead of the midterm elections, as the GOP majority in the House is thought to be vulnerable....

Democrats targeted Republicans with a similar anti-corruption message before they flipped control of the House in the 2006 midterm elections.At the press conference Monday, Democrats said the Trump administration has put the wealthy and well-connected ahead of everyday voters and been mired in chaos.They highlighted former HHS Secretary Tom Price’s resignation amid an uproar over taxpayer-funded charter flights, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s alleged ethical violations and the pay-to-play allegations surrounding Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney.“President Trump embraced the most egregious establishment Republican norms and appointed the most conflict-of-interest-ridden cabinet in my lifetime,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, New York Democrat. “The swamp has never been more foul or more fetid than under this president.”Mr. Schumer pledged to “close the Cohen loophole so the president’s cronies can’t sell access to the highest bidder.”Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer were joined by Reps. John Sarbanes of Maryland, Cheri Bustos of Illinois and Pramila Jayapal of Washington, as well as Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Tom Udall of New Mexico.The group promised to “fix” the campaign finance system to empower voters who feel as though their voice has been drowned out by

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