The House passed Thursday a bill to limit presidential power. This bill was intended to eradicate blatant and ongoing corruption like that of Donald Trump.
The Protecting Our Democracy Act was passed 220 to208 largely on party linesThe bill was supported by one Republican and two Democrats. Many parts of the bill are likely to be inspired Trump, who frequently exploited loopholes for himself and his family to make a profit from his presidency. He also hides the extent of his corruption from the public.
The bill appears to be a direct rebuke of Trump. requires presidential candidatesThey must disclose their tax returns. Trump famously refused to release his tax returns, despite knowing this. potentially illegalThis is likely because he often misuses loopholes to his advantage. pay zero to noIncome tax The bill also includes income tax. steps to barPresidents are prohibited from enriching their personal banks accounts while they are in office.
Trump used his presidential power to force foreign dignitaries and political allies to stay at his hotels despite obvious conflicts of interest. The former president made a lot of money during his time in office. an estimated $2.4 billion.
The bill would enhance the Hatch Act, which prohibits government officials from campaigning while serving in office — guidelines that the Trump administration Blatantly avoidedTrump will likely not face any consequences. Trump currently faces many civil and criminal casesThe bill would also be suspend the statute of limitations for sitting presidents’ federal crimes.
In response to reports that Trump’s team solicited and benefited from foreign interference in the presidential election, the Protecting Our Democracy Act would require political committees to disclose contact with foreign agents to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The package has now been sent to the Senate, where it stands little chance of passing due to Republican opposition and the GOP’s continued fealty to Trump. But, supporters of the bill believe that it could eventually be passed. be broken upThe bill could pass at least some of its proposals.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D.California), who introduced this bill, wrote in The Washington PostSimilar anti-corruption bills are precedents in Congress. He pointed to laws that Congress passed after President Richard Nixon resigned, which increased transparency in ethics and laws and empowered inspectors general who could seek out and take action against corruption.
“These post-Watergate reforms and others did a great deal to preserve the balance of power for much of the past half-century, even if successive presidents wore them down,” Schiff wrote. “Then came the election of Donald Trump. During the course of his four years in office, many of the Nixon-era norms were broken down, exposing new vulnerabilities to our democracy.”
Schiff highlights the time Attorney-General William Barr reduced Trump ally Roger Stone’s sentenceAnd had the administration drop chargesTrump adviser Michael Flynn is being criticized for blurring the line between politics of the president, and the Department of Justice. Schiff’s bill would requireThe disclosure of interactions between Justice Department and White House. It would also provide protections for whistleblowers, inspectors general, and others. Trump firedA number of government watchdogs are available for personal and/or political reasons.
“The list of Trump administration presidential abuses is nearly endless,” Schiff wrote. “This is why Congress needs a new set of democracy-affirming reforms. Indeed, because the Trumpian abuses of power are far more sweeping than anything undertaken by Nixon — and ultimately led to a violent attack on our Capitol — the need for stronger guardrails is greater than ever.”
The bill includes several amendments introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York). The amendments extend nepotism guidelines to the president’s executive office and codify a Joe Biden executive order that took aim at the “revolving door” between federal government posts and private sector positions that seek to influence government policy.
Progressive lawmakers and advocates lauded the bill’s passage. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) highlighted that the bill “will restore our system of checks and balances, protect our elections, & bolster congressional oversight.”
Public Citizen, a government watchdog, also praised the bill and said that its anti-corruption measures should transcend political infighting. “This legislation should never be viewed as a Democratic or Republican bill,” said Craig Holman, Public Citizen government affairs lobbyist. “[I]t is democracy legislation.”