A headline in The Daily Mail read “House Democrats launch full-scale war on Trump with first bill demanding ALL presidential candidates release ten years of tax returns and an end to Electoral College system that helped him beat Hillary.”
House Democrats on Friday unveiled a comprehensive elections and ethics reform package and other pieces of legislation targeting many of their long-held complaints about Donald Trump and how he won the 2016 presidential election.
The bill, among the first to be considered as Democrats take control of the House after eight years, would force presidential and vice presidential candidates – and anyone currently holding those offices – to release their previous 10 income tax returns.
Trump has been resistant to releasing his tax returns, saying they remain under audit.
Separately, a Democratic congressman filed a bill that would amend the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College and provide for presidents to be chosen by raw nationwide vote totals.
‘Americans expect and deserve the winner of the popular vote to win office,’ said Tennessee Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen, the bill’s sponsor.
The American presidency is decided by an Electoral College system that apportions 538 final votes among the 50 states and requires a majority of 270 to win.
Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 304-227 Electoral College margin and beat her in 30 out of 50 states. But she won nearly 3 million more votes, padding her massive leads in populous, deep-blue states like California and New York.
Cohen’s legislation would also make it illegal for presidents to issue pardons to themselves, family members, aides or campaign staffers.
The Democrats’ larger bill would forbid states from purging voter rolls on a large scale to eliminate residents who died, moved out of state or were convicted of disqualifying felonies. And it would restore felons’ voting rights, regardless of the nature of their crimes, after they serve their sentences.
It would also force states to automatically process voter registrations for all residents, including those who haven’t requested it.
Democrats used the full force of their new majority as they announced the plan Friday at a news conference that included dozens of new and returning lawmakers. While the bill includes a range of reforms, some Democrats made clear that one of their chief targets is President Donald Trump.
Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the new chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Trump had ‘set the tone from the top in his administration that behaving ethically and complying with the law is optional. Ladies and gentlemen, we are better than that.’
The bill also would ban executive-branch officials from lobbying their old agency for two years after they leave government and reauthorize and enhance the Office of Government Ethics, which has clashed with Trump.
They never learn.
You don’t want to pick a fight with President Trump.