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New bill would have exposed alleged conflicts in Biden, Trump presidencies

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(The Center Square) – Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have faced ongoing ethics questions in recent years, but a new bill seeks to bring any such problems to the surface much sooner.

A new bipartisan piece of legislation would require presidents and vice presidents to disclose gifts received, conflicts of interest, foreign financial dealings and more ethical gray areas within two years of taking office.

Biden has faced ongoing investigations into his family’s alleged financial dealings with entities in Ukraine, China and other nations that benefited family members by more than $20 million. House Oversight Chair Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., says the money was funneled through several bank accounts to hide its source and that some of the funds went to President Biden himself.

Some of the Biden family’s alleged dealings date back to his time as vice president.

Trump and his family have faced questions over the former president’s business deals in the U.S., his tax returns, and his family’s alleged interaction with Russians. Trump currently is in a trial over alleged “hush money” payments to Stormy Daniels.

“The American people deserve nothing less than full honesty and transparency from presidents and vice presidents,” U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., said in a statement. “By boosting transparency and requiring additional financial disclosures, Congress can shine a light on improper conduct in the Executive Branch – or be confident that none occurred. These reforms will help restore Americans’ trust in government and strengthen our democracy.”

The bill would also require the disclosure of tax returns, questionable loans taken out, as well as when family members accompany them for travel or receive gifts or loans.

“The Presidential Ethics Reform Act is landmark bipartisan legislation that delivers the transparency and accountability the American people deserve to ensure our public offices are not for sale,” U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement. “Influence peddling is a cottage industry in Washington and we’ve identified deficiencies in current law that have led to a culture of corruption.”

The Center Square Voter’s Voice poll released earlier this year found that only 22% of Americans would say Biden is innocent of the corruption claims against him. The rest thought he was guilty or were unsure.

As The Center Square previously reported, the poll reported that 21% of surveyed likely voters named “government corruption” as one of the top three most important issues for them. Corruption came in higher than some key issues such as national security or access to health care but lower than illegal immigration and economic issues such as inflation.

“By creating this bipartisan legislation to provide greater transparency to the financial interactions related to the office of the president and vice-president, we can ensure that moving forward American presidents, vice presidents, and their family members cannot profit from their proximity to power,” Comer said.

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