Statement of Marilyn Carpinteyro, Common Cause Interim Co-Presiden
No American is above the law, not even the President. But we learned during the Trump administration that existing laws are not sufficient to prevent abuses of the Office of the President. We need strong guardrails in the form of laws. We need the Protecting Our Democracy Act to provide greater checks and balances to the powers of the presidency while creating new mechanisms for transparency and accountability.
This comprehensive legislation introduced today will curb the widespread and regular abuses of power we saw during the Trump presidency. Under the Protecting Our Democracy Act future presidents will not be able to harness the powers of their office to target political opponents, solicit foreign interference in our elections, promise self-serving pardons, and enrich themselves or their friends and family. The bill includes provisions to strengthen protections for federal whistleblowers and inspectors general, promote orderly presidential transitions between administrations, strengthen the Hatch Act, and protect the Justice Department from political interference from the White House. It requires campaigns to report foreign interference in elections, and mandates that the president, vice president, and major party candidates make public recent tax returns. The bill also provides new tools to Congress to efficiently enforce subpoenas.
The American people expect and deserve accountability from their President. The Protecting Our Democracy Act will deliver that regardless of the person or their party affiliation. We commend Chairman Adam Schiff for his leadership sponsoring and introducing this bill.
This legislation represents a huge step forward for the people and for accountability in government and we urge its swift passage.
Common Cause will score this legislation again in our next Democracy Scorecard.