Today is a great day to call your reps and leave a message! Wish them a Happy Independence Day and tell them what you’d like them to focus on when they get back to the office tomorrow. If I may, I’d suggest they focus on White House conflicts-of-interest—perhaps by taking action on the following bills:
In the House of Representatives:
- H.R. 371: Require the President and Vice President be included under current law that prohibits federal office holders from engaging in government business when they stand to profit (guess who the only two Executive Branch members currently exempt are?). Also requires the PotUS and VP put their assets in a certified blind trust and disclose to the Office of Government Ethics when the make decisions that impact their personal finances.
- H.R. 305: Amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to require the disclosure of some tax returns by presidential candidates. Requires sitting presidents to disclose three prior years of federal tax returns.
- H.Res. 186: Direct the Secretary of the Treasury to provide President Trump’s tax returns and other financial info to Congress post haste.
In the senate:
- S.65: Requires the President, Vice President, their spouses, and any minor children to divest of any potential financial conflicts of interest by transferring assets to a qualified blind trust.
- S.Con.Res. 8: Calls on the PotUS to “follow the precedent established by prior Presidents and convert his assets to conflict-free holdings, adopt blind trusts,” etc. and not take actions that favor the Trump Organization. Also declares that, lacking an “express affirmative authorization by Congress,” the PotUS’s financial dealings with foreign governments or their agents are indeed violations of the Emoluments Clause.
My personal view is that, regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, you should support these bills—they’re just common sense in the modern age, where anyone with even the simplest 401k, tiniest nest-egg socked away in an IRA, or humblest mortgage has a vested interest in myriad domestic and foreign policy issues.
But even if you think all of these bills are total BS, call your reps. Please call your reps and tell them that. We should all be invested not in a system that has this or that policy outcome, but in a system where the vast majority of citizens actively participate to guide us toward whatever outcome may be. I totally accept that I’ll often be on the losing end, policy-wise, because my beliefs and experience just don’t match up with the majority—but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna gently and quietly acquiesce to a country molded around the manic delusions of a vocal, belligerent, ideologically extreme minority of the electorate.