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Lawmakers introduce landmark Presidential Ethics Reform Act

https://oversight.house.gov/

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) this week introduced the Presidential Ethics Reform Act, a landmark federal ethics reform bill to deliver transparency to the American people and enable robust congressional oversight. 

In addition to requiring disclosure of conflicts of interest while in office, the bill requires presidents and vice presidents to disclose foreign payments, expensive gifts, loan transactions, and tax returns during the two-year period prior to time in office, during time in office, and for two years following departure from office. The bill also requires presidents and vice presidents to make disclosures for immediate family members who receive foreign payments, expensive gifts, or loans, or who use official travel for personal business.

“The Presidential Ethics Reform Act is landmark bipartisan legislation that delivers the transparency and accountability the American people deserve to ensure our public offices are not for sale. Influence peddling is a cottage industry in Washington and we’ve identified deficiencies in current law that have led to a culture of corruption. By creating this bipartisan legislation to provide greater transparency to the financial interactions related to the office of the president and vice-president, we can ensure that moving forward American presidents, vice presidents, and their family members cannot profit from their proximity to power,” said Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.).

“The American people deserve nothing less than full honesty and transparency from presidents and vice presidents. Our bipartisan Presidential Ethics Reform Act would let Americans view the tax returns, gifts, and other conflicts of interest of a president, vice president, and their families, empowering the public to evaluate our leaders’ behavior for themselves. By boosting transparency and requiring additional financial disclosures, Congress can shine a light on improper conduct in the Executive Branch—or be confident that none occurred. These reforms will help restore Americans’ trust in government and strengthen our democracy,” said Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.).

The Presidential Ethics Reform Act:

• Requires presidents and vice presidents to disclose payments, transfers, or other items of value from foreign sources received by themselves or immediate family members within two years before taking office, during time in office, and for two years after leaving office.
 
• Requires presidents and vice presidents to disclose conflicts of interest upon taking office and throughout time in office.

• Requires presidents and vice presidents to disclose gifts valued at more than $10,000 received from or by immediate family members within two years before taking office, during time in office, and for two years after leaving office.

• Requires presidents and vice presidents to disclose loans or loan repayments made to them by an immediate family member of any amount, or received by an immediate family member from any source (except commercial loans) for over $10,000, within two years before taking office, during time in office, and for two years after leaving office.

• Requires presidents and vice presidents to disclose when immediate family members accompany the president or vice president on official travel, specifying when they do so for business purposes.
Requires presidents and vice presidents to disclose tax returns for the two years preceding time in office, during time in office, and for the two years following departure from office.

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