House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images
House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled sweeping legislation aimed at preventing presidential abuse and corruption, strengthening transparency and accountability, and protecting elections from foreign interference.
Why it matters: While the bill has practically no chance of becoming law while Trump is in office and Republicans hold the Senate, it's a pre-election message from Democrats on how they plan to govern should Trump lose in November. It also gives Democratic members an anti-corruption platform to run on in the weeks before the election.
Details: The package, introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and seven Democratic chairs of House committees, is called the "Protect Our Democracy Act."
- The bill 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.
- 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.
What they're saying: "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 said in a joint 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."