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Democrats Begin Effort to Curb Post-Trump Presidential Powers

  • September 21, 2021

For now, as proponents first try to get the measures through the House, Democrats are squarely framing it as a response to the Trump presidency.

Mr. Trump’s demonstration that a president can routinely flout previous norms of self-restraint in office “has really put our republic on a very tenuous footing,” Mr. Schiff said in an interview. “Our democracy turns out to be much more fragile than we understood, and this is an effort to put into law that which we thought was already mandatory.”

On instructions from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the bill compiles components developed by numerous lawmakers and House committees.

While many of the proposals have been floating around for years, they took on new urgency among Democrats and some Republicans amid the controversies of the Trump era.

For example, in pushing a proposal to give greater force to the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in campaign politics at work, supporters of the legislation cited an episode in which a Trump White House aide, Kellyanne Conway, was cited by an independent agency for flagrant violations of that law. The Trump administration ignored the agency’s request to sanction her and she dismissed the finding as “blah blah blah.”

Other sections address issues that were obscure before the Trump era. One section, for instance, proposes to strengthen the Constitution’s ban on presidents taking “emoluments,” or payments, by declaring in statute that the anti-corruption prohibition extends to commercial transactions and making it easier to enforce that rule.

Mr. Trump’s refusal to divest from his hotels and resorts raised the question of whether lobbying groups and foreign governments that began paying for numerous rooms at Trump properties — and sometimes did not even use them — were trying to purchase his favor.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/21/us/politics/democrats-legislation-curb-post-trump-presidential-powers.html

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