After four years of watching Donald Trump run roughshod over the government, Congressional Democrats are preparing a package of reforms that put roadblocks in front of any future president who wants to use the Trump playbook to do what they want.
Using a combination of executive orders and telling subordinates to proceed with his wishes while dragging disputes through the courts, Trump created daily chaos during his one term and Democrats are willing to rein even a member of their own party in the Oval Office to avoid a repeat.
According to Charlie Savage at the New York Times, "House Democrats are planning to introduce a package of proposed new limits on executive power on Tuesday, beginning a post-Trump push to strengthen checks on the presidency that they hope will compare to the overhauls that followed the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War."
One reform that stands out would be efforts to limit future presidents from issuing pardons after Trump handed them out left and right to allies who were accused of breaking the law or could have potentially been witnesses against him in his ensuing legal problems.
"The legislation would make it harder for presidents to offer or bestow pardons in situations that raise suspicion of corruption, refuse to respond to oversight subpoenas, spend or secretly freeze funds contrary to congressional appropriations, and fire inspectors general or retaliate against whistle-blowers, among many other changes," Savage wrote before adding Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca) said he expects the package to be voted upon sometime "this fall."
The report goes on to note that some Republicans -- including Congressional allies of the former president -- may balk at the changes.
"Supporters [of the package] noted that Republican senators previously supported significant components of the bill, like requiring the Justice Department to turn over logs of contacts with White House officials and constraining a president's ability to declare a national emergency and spend money in ways Congress did not approve," Savage reported.
Another hot topic addressed in the bill would be to prevent presidents from using the office of the presidency for personal profit while in office.
"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," the report states, adding, "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."
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