Ben Sasse Introduces Series of Ethics Bills To "Drain The Swamp"

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., right, accompanied by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., left, speaks as Facebook's General Counsel Colin Stretch, Twitter's Acting General Counsel Sean Edgett, and Google's Law Enforcement and Information Security Director Richard Salgado, testify during a Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, on more signs from tech companies of Russian election activity. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

As I wrote last week, I think Sen. Ben Sasse may be the most frustrated member in the United States Senate. His blistering opening statements at Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing last week called out every side and all members for what we all knew they were about to do: Put Kavanaugh and the viewing public through a circus of charades.


Today, Sasse has turned his focus onto doing his part to go after the much-hated “swamp” that is Washington D.C.

Sen. Sasse announced via USA Today on Thursday, that he is introducing a series of bills aimed to actually “drain the swamp” or at least make it less swampy.

Sasse’s bills cover a whole host of issues that I think many if not most Americans believe should be law already. He lists off five things his legislation will end.

The legislation will:

First, end any administration’s Cabinet members from “soliciting donations from foreign sources.” The Clinton Foundation, anyone?

Second, require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns. Citing Donald Trump’s refusal to do so, Sasse says, “voters deserve basic information about the financial situation of their potential chief executive.”

Thirdly, Sasse addresses the settlements that have come to light due to the #MeToo movement, Sasse wants to create a public database that discloses settlements, with appropriate identification redactions, paid out for cases involving elected officials. He also says settlements for any misconduct should be paid out-of-pocket.


Fourth, in light of Rep. Duncan Hunter’s most recent indictment, Sasse wants to prohibit members of Congress from buying or selling stocks while in office. Sasse says, “Voters should not have to ask whether their congressman supported a piece of legislation because it was good for his personal investment portfolio.”

Lastly, Sasse wants a lifetime ban on former members of Congress leaving — or losing — and simply moving to K Street to lobby their former colleagues. Also known as D.C.’s “revolving door.”

Sen. Sasse has set a tall order for himself, but these things should be commonsensical. We’ll see how much of this he can get done. Fingers crossed, but I’m also not holding my breath. It is, after all, The Swamp.


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