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house Bill H.R. 5495

Should White House & Presidential Employees Have to Report Their Recusals to Ethics Watchdogs?

Argument in favor

Administration officials and government employees should not use their positions to enrich themselves. This bill ensures that these individuals not only hold themselves to this standard, but also inform the OGE & Congress when their work leads to conflicts of interest.

burrkitty's Opinion
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09/21/2018
I think all government employees should. It’s just a good transparency action to self-report COI’s. It is the responsible thing to do.
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davidf's Opinion
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09/21/2018
This bill should not be limited just to the White House and the Executive Branch but needs to be expanded to every Senator, Representative, and all members of their staffs. This is what ethics is about. If you cannot live with a basic standard of ethics such as this you do not belong in public service in any capacity.
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Christopher's Opinion
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09/21/2018
The country can no longer rely upon the ‘good faith’ efforts of elected and appointed officials to remain free of conflicts of interests between their private holdings and investments vs. public office responsibilities.
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Argument opposed

Government officials are already held to strict ethics requirements. Requiring that they disclose every potential conflict of interest and recusal to multiple parties, even when the official recuses themselves, is excessive and could deter qualified candidates.

Fg's Opinion
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09/21/2018
Seperation of powers. Will Congress notify the White House when they have a conflict of interest? If they did they probably would not retire with multi millions. No No
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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09/21/2018
CONGRESSIONAL RECUSAL REPORTING - ALL or NONE Why wouldn’t all members of Congress be required, INCLUDING officers and employees of the Executive Office of the President or the White House, be required to notify the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and Congress in each instance the individual is recused from a particular matter, such as a decision or meeting, due to a conflict of interest. This legislation seems to be nothing more then another Progressive Liberal Democrat attempt to attack the current administration. I’m sure that such a legislative action wouldn’t be directed towards a Democratic administration. Any Doubt???? NOPE. 9*21*18 .......... SneakyPete........
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Gregory's Opinion
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09/21/2018
Again to much socialist democrat overreach thank God it is still a free country. It will not be for long if the corrupt democrats get back in power. God forbid.
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What is House Bill H.R. 5495?

This bill — known as the CONFLICT Act — would require officers and employees of the Executive Office of the President or the White House to notify the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and Congress in each instance the individual is recused from a particular matter, such as a decision or meeting, due to a conflict of interest. The bill would also require White House staff and officials to inform the OGE and relevant committees whenever they ask their agency ethics official of a future matter that may require recusal, and what the ethics officer’s recommendation was.

The bill’s full title is the Congressional Oversight Needed For Likely Illicit and Corrupt Transactions (CONFLICT) Act.

Impact

Officers and employees of the Executive Office of the President; officers and employees of the White House; Office of Government Ethics; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5495

A CBO cost estimate for this bill is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced this bill to mandate greater transparency in recusals by White House officials and staff:

“The reports of Mr. Kushner’s potential violations of ethics law are only the most recent example of Trump White House officials recklessly ignoring blatant and potential conflicts of interest. Our legislation will bring transparency, and through it, greater accountability by establishing a clear record of when and why officials recuse themselves, and when they fail to do so. Public service demands putting the interests of our country ahead of our own and this legislation will help make it clear to the American people when White House officials fail to live up to that standard.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), an original cosponsor of this bill, added that transparency will prevent officials’ abuse of their power for personal ends:

“Yet again we find ourselves having to step in to prevent White House officials from further abusing their positions to line their own pockets… Transparency is a weak point for this administration, so the only way to understand officials’ webs of potential conflicts is enabling them to disclose that they’re acting in the best interest of the American public. The American people deserve to know whether their public officials are serving their country or their own financial interests.”

Of Note: Rep. Krishnamoorthi was prompted to introduce this bill due to concerns over Jared Kushner’s conflicts of interest, as reported by the New York Times in February 2018. As reported by the Times, the president’s son-in-law held meetings at the White House in 2017 with executives from Apollo Global Management LLC and Citigroup Inc. — and those companies later gave $509 million in real-estate financing to Kushner Companies, which Jared once ran and retained a significant interest in after joining the White House.

In addition to those meetings, Kushner has come under scrutiny for numerous other real estate concerns that he has promoted while in the White House, including soliciting investments from a company tied to the Chinese government while helping shape China policy and pursuing cash from Israeli investors and a Qatari sheikh while conducting Middle East diplomacy. Other members of his family also came under fire for touting their White House ties while trying to sell visas to Chinese investors.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Adventure_Photo)

AKA

Congressional Oversight Needed For Likely Illicit and Corrupt Transactions Act

Official Title

To amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to require employees of the Executive Office of the President or the White House to notify the Office of Government Ethics and Congress in each instance the individual is recused from a particular matter pursuant to section 208 of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedApril 12th, 2018
    I think all government employees should. It’s just a good transparency action to self-report COI’s. It is the responsible thing to do.
    Like (86)
    Follow
    Share
    Seperation of powers. Will Congress notify the White House when they have a conflict of interest? If they did they probably would not retire with multi millions. No No
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill should not be limited just to the White House and the Executive Branch but needs to be expanded to every Senator, Representative, and all members of their staffs. This is what ethics is about. If you cannot live with a basic standard of ethics such as this you do not belong in public service in any capacity.
    Like (70)
    Follow
    Share
    The country can no longer rely upon the ‘good faith’ efforts of elected and appointed officials to remain free of conflicts of interests between their private holdings and investments vs. public office responsibilities.
    Like (37)
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    Ethics Watchdogs at the Whitehouse? Pretty sure they have all been chained up in the back yard.
    Like (22)
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    In light of this president and what we have all been seeing for the last two years, WH staff should be monitored and reported. It appears the current laws and rules are ignored by the president so additional rules/laws must have teeth.
    Like (11)
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    They should be formally accountable and it should be a matter of public record, open to public inquiry, with no executive privilege permitted.
    Like (9)
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    CONGRESSIONAL RECUSAL REPORTING - ALL or NONE Why wouldn’t all members of Congress be required, INCLUDING officers and employees of the Executive Office of the President or the White House, be required to notify the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and Congress in each instance the individual is recused from a particular matter, such as a decision or meeting, due to a conflict of interest. This legislation seems to be nothing more then another Progressive Liberal Democrat attempt to attack the current administration. I’m sure that such a legislative action wouldn’t be directed towards a Democratic administration. Any Doubt???? NOPE. 9*21*18 .......... SneakyPete........
    Like (7)
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    This legislation should apply to every politician in Washington, not just White House officials. Corruption is rampant in DC and it needs to be stamped out immediately!
    Like (7)
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    In Arkansas, appointees, by the Governor, on the State Level have to submit disclosures to the Secretary of the State. In addition, any State level employee has to disclose and have permission to have a second job outside of state government, just to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest for such recusals. This should already be a policy on he a federal level. However, those who cheat always seem to win at any level.
    Like (6)
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    Yes.
    Like (6)
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    We cannot depend on people to recuse themselves for conflict of interest. Therefore, this will be helpful in ensuring the highest ethical standards are met.
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    Looks like a bill to protect us from “the best people” Trump saddled is with. To bad it won’t apply to Trump himself.
    Like (5)
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    It seems like this government has less accountability than a spoiled kid. If you’re recusing yourself, there must be a conflict of some interest! We the payers of their salaries have a right to know why they can’t or won’t do their jobs.
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    How about one better - people with ethical conflicts shouldn’t allowed to be president
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    Vote yes. This is common sense
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    This may add some consequence if they don’t
    Like (4)
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    All recusals require reporting. I want complete transparency.
    Like (4)
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    Hope this Bill applies to presidents too. Now all we need is Republican support.
    Like (4)
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    Since they can’t seem to be ethical on their own, I guess we need a watch dog.
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