House Democrats have revealed a comprehensive reform package designed to prevent presidential corruption and curtail abuse of executive powers.
The “Protect Our Democracy Act” gives Congress “more oversight over investigations, enhances protections for whistleblowers, and says that a president can only remove an inspector general at an agency for cause,” according to Axios. “It also requires the attorney general to maintain a log of certain communications between the Department of Justice and the White House, strengthens Congress’ ability to enforce subpoenas, and requires political committees to report foreign contacts to the FBI.”
“Since taking office, President Trump has placed his own personal and political interests above the national interest by protecting and enriching himself, targeting his political opponents, seeking foreign interference in our elections, eroding transparency, seeking to end accountability, and otherwise abusing the power of his office,” the chairs of seven Democratic House committees said in a statement. “Our democracy is not self-effectuating – it takes work and a commitment to guard it against those who would undermine it, whether foreign or domestic. It is time for Congress to strengthen the bedrock of our democracy and ensure our laws are strong enough to withstand a lawless president.”
“I don’t think there’s ever been a more brazen violator of the power of the purse than Donald Trump,” said Representative John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), who heads the House Budget Committee. “What’s made it worse is it’s not in advance of … some philosophical agenda, it’s his own personal political agenda.”
Although the bill has no chance of becoming law under a Republican-controlled Senate, Democrats hope Joe Biden can unseat President Donald Trump in November, arguing that his election would bolster a new era of reform that would strengthen Congress’s investigative powers and close loopholes that have allowed the current president to run afoul of Congressional authority.