Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. helped introduce the Protecting Our Democracy Act to hold presidents accountable for their actions and restore the country’s traditional system of governmental checks and balances.

The bill (H.R. 8363) is a package of measures designed to prevent presidential abuse of power. It comes after numerous studies and articles showed that former President Trump used the presidency to enrich his family business interests, protect his loyalists from Congressional oversight and legal penalties, and promote foreign interference in American elections to improve his chances of winning. House Democrats impeached President Trump twice (December 18, 2019 and January 13, 2021) for his consistent abuse of presidential authority.

“No president has shown a greater disregard for the Constitution or the safety and welfare of the American people than former President Trump,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution with the belief that all American Presidents would put the betterment of the nation ahead of any personal agenda. But they were smart enough to create a system of checks and balances to protect the country in case a president abused the power of his office. This bill strengthens those checks and balances and prohibits future presidents from repeating the same, self-serving actions of former President Trump.”

The bill contains several strong provisions to prevent presidential abuse of power, expose governmental corruption, and provide more transparency of governmental work for the American people. It gives Congress more power to investigate presidential pardons, bans a president from pardoning himself, and gives more authority to Congressional subpoenas.

In addition, it protects federal whistleblowers from public disclosure, strengthens the Hatch Act to keep executive branch employees from engaging in political activity, and requires political committees and candidates to report contacts with foreign agents when they are running for political office.

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