Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) in an op/ed in USA Today announced that he was going to roll out a reform plan consisting of several bills that will “drain the swamp.”

His reform plan will include:

  • A bill to prohibit Cabinet members and their immediate family from soliciting donations from foreign sources. “If you hold one of the highest and most sensitive positions in the executive branch, there should not be any question about who you’re working for. There should not be any temptation to exploit your office for financial gain. No more Clintons using high office to line their own pockets.”
  • A bill requiring presidential and vice presidential candidates to disclose tax returns.In 2016, Donald Trump became the first major party nominee in modern American history not to release his tax returns. He spent the campaign claiming he was going to release them, and then the moment he was elected he declared that ‘nobody cares’ and moved on. Every presidential nominee prior to 2016 understood that voters deserve basic information about the financial situation of their potential chief executive. We’re going to make sure they can get it.”
  • A bill to create a public database of congressional HR settlements, ensure disclosure quicker, and increase personal financial liability for members of Congress. “When a congressman or senator settles a personnel issue — whether the issue is harassment, discrimination, or some other misconduct — basic information about that settlement ought to be immediately available, with victims first having the opportunity to protect their identities through redaction. Members need to pay settlements out of their own pockets and need to reimburse the taxpayer-funded Office of Compliance for administrative costs too. In the era of #MeToo, voters should be able to expect transparency from their representatives when accusations of improper conduct are settled. At the end of the day, giving constituents information is the best way to make sure that elected representatives are held accountable.”
  • A bill to implement a lifetime ban on members of Congress making money lobbying. “One principle of our small-r republican government is that we have citizen-representatives, not a permanent class of political elites. But in Washington today, we have a legislator-to-lobbyist pipeline, and that’s cutting out the input of constituents and others who can’t, or refuse to, pay to play. Getting elected to the U.S. Congress should be an opportunity to serve your constituents and the country, not a stepping-stone to a cushy job on K Street.”

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