Democrats may not be much for governing, but they can crank out “show votes” to advance a political agenda.
A bill was introduced Tuesday in the House and Senate by Democrats that would require the White House to publish visitor logs at the Executive Mansion and other personal properties where President Donald Trump conducts business, according to The Hill.
Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act — how cute is that? The initials are a reflection of Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
President Trump held a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago last year, and adding fodder to the request is a claim by a Trump donor that he could deliver Chinese clients access to the president at the private Palm Beach, Fla., club.
This from the party that had little interest in who was darkening the doorstep of the Obama White House — race-baiter Al Sharpton being a frequent guest, as was former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who visited 157 times in just under 5 years.
The Trump White House decision to close off visitor logs followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, as former President Barack Obama made the same decision when he was elected, despite his promise to be the most transparent administration ever.
After refusing multiple requests to view White House visitor logs, Obama eventually reversed his decision.
Quigley, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, called into question Trump’s integrity in justifying the legislation, which is a rehash of an earlier bill introduced in the previous Congress.
“The power of the presidency comes with a responsibility to provide the public with the records of those trying to influence our democracy. The MAR-A-LAGO Act is about upholding the integrity of the Oval Office and, based on this president’s track record, we know that transparency is not a priority of his, making public access to these visitor logs an absolute necessity,” the lawmaker said in a statement, according to The Hill.
Udall expressed concern over the wealthy and well-connected having access to the president at one of his private clubs.
“The administration’s refusal to disclose White House visitor logs – and the president’s insistence on conducting official business out of his private business properties – have created an environment where people seeking to influence the administration can access officials at the highest levels of government without public scrutiny,” he said in the statement.
The two Democrats used the occasion to continue the party’s narrative that Trump is unfit to serve as president.
“President Trump has also taken the unusual and potentially dangerous step of conducting official business in the plain view of guests at his high-priced Mar-A-Lago club,” they said.
While the legislation may pass in the Democrat-controlled House, it will go nowhere in the Senate, which is led by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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