Having seen the immense damage a reckless and unchecked president can do with his powers — i.e. the Trump presidency — Congressional Democrats are introducing legislation today that would put major roadblocks in the way of any future U.S. head of state who tries to rule like a king.
NBC News reports:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will highlight the Protecting Our Democracy Act during a press conference alongside its chief sponsor, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The measure would limit a president’s pardon power, require presidential candidates to be transparent with their tax records, and extend a deadline for prosecuting former presidents and vice presidents for federal crimes committed before or during their time in office, according to the group Protect Democracy, which is advocating for the measure.
It would also ensure that incoming presidents have access to resources for the transition period following an election, and would require the disclosure of contacts between the White House and the Justice Department.
On its website, Protect Democracy notes:
“The proposals respond to longstanding vulnerabilities in our democracy that have allowed for the aggrandizement of presidential power, many of which have been exploited over decades by presidents of both parties, and some of which reached new heights through the actions of the Trump administration.”
There are other much-needed changes in the bill, too, including freezing or spending funds appropriated by Congress, making it harder for administration officials to avoid congressional subpoenas, and also preventing a president from firing an inspector general simply because he doesn’t like the fact that an internal investigation has begun at a federal agency.
While the reforms are certainly needed, it remains unclear if such legislation can pass both houses of Congress. Even if it passes the House where Democrats hold a majority, the bill would need 10 Republicans in the Senate to vote in favor, which seems unlikely considering that they refused to even criticize Trump during his administration.
Featured Image Via NBC News