Democrats stage frontal assault with MAR-A-LAGO Act
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Mar 28, 2017,
Mar 28, 2017, 15:06
Access to the president has been limited and secretive, and Democratic lawmakers want to see published the routine comings and goings of those who seek Trump's ear, or the ear of his advisors. And even if federal law mandated the publication of such logs, Trump's frequent travels to his various luxury properties would make it easy to conduct meetings outside of the public eye.
"It's simple: the American people have a right to know who has access to the president and who has leverage over this administration", said Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico in a statement on his website.
President Trump has assembled a cabinet filled with millionaires and billionaires, he's pursuing an agenda of massive tax cuts for the rich, and the initiation fees at Mar-A-Lago - where people are getting uncommon access to the president and his top advisers - have just doubled to $200,000.
But they may have outdone themselves with the acronym of a bill hoping to make Donald Trump publicly release the White House visitor logs.
"If he won't adopt that policy himself, Congress should require it", Whitehouse says.
The White House hasn't reacted to the bill.
According to NBC, Senators had previously expressed similar concerns over a lack of transparency on what individuals and groups might be attempting to purchase access to President Trump through memberships at the Mar-a-Lago club, which costs $200,000. Club members call the front desk to give the names of their guests, including for parties held in the ballroom.
During previous administrations, visitor logs were frequently publicized. The full title of the bill is the "Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act", which could be the central exhibit in the American Museum of Pettiness (it doesn't exist but someone should totally start it). It is very unlikely the proposed legislation will pass the Republican-controlled Senate, but its proponents, Senators Tom Udall (N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Tom Carper (Del.) and Jack Reed (R.I.) are accusing the Trump White House of avoiding transparency and they say they have not been able to get a straight answer on whether Trump will continue to follow Obama's practice of releasing visitor logs to the public. John Wonderlich, the executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, backs the Democrat's legislation.