Democrats Creating Roadblocks to Prevent ‘Another Trump’ From Taking Office

After four years of watching Donald Trump steamroll 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 carry them out to the letter while dragging disputes through the courts, Trump created daily chaos during his one term. Democrats are willing to rein even a member of their own party in the Oval Office to avoid a repeat should any other sitting President abuse the powers of the Oval Office.

House Democrats are planning to introduce their 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 as Trump did, handing 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 proposed 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. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca) said he expects the package to be voted upon sometime “this fall.”

Another Trump-influenced issue addressed in the bill would be to prevent presidents from using the office of the presidency for personal profit while in office. One section proposes to strengthen the Constitution’s ban on presidents taking “emoluments,” or payments, by declaring in a statute that the anti-corruption prohibition extends to commercial transactions and making it easier to enforce that rule. Trump’s refusal to divest from his hotels and resorts, for example, raised the question of whether lobbying groups and foreign governments that began paying for numerous rooms at Trump properties were trying to purchase his favor.

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