House Dems Continue Move to Limit Presidential Power House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., withholds her applause during former President Donald Trump's final State of the Union Address. (Patrick Semansky/AP)
By Theodore Bunker | Tuesday, 21 September 2021 11:17 AM
House Democrats intend to continue with legislation limiting the president's power and improving the ability of Congress to enforce subpoenas and protect whistleblowers, a move seen as a response to the Trump administration, NBC News reports.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will hold a press conference highlighting the legislation, which is called the Protecting Our Democracy Act, along with House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the bill's chief sponsor who reintroduced it Tuesday. The legislation would limit the president's pardon power, require transparency when it comes to the tax records of presidential candidates, improve protections for government whistleblowers, and ensure stricter enforcement of the Hatch Act, among other measures.
"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," the nonpartisan nonprofit group Protect Democracy, which is advocating for the legislation.
The nonpartisan watchdog group Project On Government Oversight, or POGO, also issued a press release this week calling on Congress to pass the law.
"Donald Trump's presidency exposed significant cracks in the system our founders designed to serve as a check against an imperial president," Liz Hempowicz, director of public policy at POGO, said in a statement. "The weaknesses in our systems of checks and balances and anti-corruption laws were already there — the last administration just made them more visible to the broader public. If we want to prevent future abuses of power by the executive branch, we cannot ignore the systemic issues the Trump administration exposed. We must enact legislative reform now.
"The Protecting Our Democracy Act is a direct answer to public concerns about corruption in government. Congress must pass this bill to protect the integrity of our democracy."