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House Passes Act to Keep Tabs On Presidential Abuses Of Power

House Passes Act to Keep Tabs On Presidential Abuses Of Power

The House voted 220-208 on Thursday to pass the Protect Our Democracy Act, which addresses presidential abuses of power and reinforces the checks and balances between the branches of government. Only one Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted with all the Democrats to pass the bill and send it off to its uncertain future in the Senate, where 60 votes are required for passage.

The White House has already voiced its support for the bill, which aims to strengthen the boundaries of power that were tested by Donald Trump, including limitation on presidential pardons, the requirement for candidates for president and vice president to submit their personal tax returns for 10 years, and the acceptance of any foreign or domestic emoluments.

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – JANUARY 16: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an announcement January 16, 2021 at the Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware. President-elect Joe Biden has announced key members of his incoming White House science team. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a retreat with Republican lawmakers at Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland, January 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference after the bill passed that it “ensures the strength and survival of a democracy of, by and for the people, defending the rule of law, revitalizing our system of checks and balances and restoring our democratic institutions.”
“This legislation ensures that no one, not even a president, no matter who he or she may be, is above the law,” Speaker Pelosi said.

 

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), said the legislation originally introduced in September 2020 and reintroduced this past September “echoes changes that were made following the Nixon presidency”.

“Just as after Watergate, Congress worked to enact reforms, so we must now examine the cracks in the Democratic foundation and address them,” Rep. Schiff said.

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House Republicans railed against the bill, saying it is just another attempt to attack Trump. “This bill is yet another attempt by the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Adam Schiff, to retroactively attack President Trump, even after the Democrat [sic] Russia collusion allegations have been repeatedly debunked,” Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas said.

Republicans still loyal to Trump also suggested that, should they regain the majority, they would retaliate and wield investigative power into the executive branch, aiding Trump’s personal vendetta against President Joe Biden and threatening an inquiry into his surviving son, Hunter Biden.
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