Schumer vows votes on background checks, voting rights after break
Dems introduce MAR-A-LAGO Act to publish visitor logs
Senate Democrats are doubling down on their effort to force the Trump administration to publicly release visitor logs for the White House and Mar-a-Lago with a bill named for Trump's Florida resort.
Sens. Tom Udall (N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Tom Carper (Del.) and Jack Reed (R.I.) on Friday introduced the the Make Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act - or MAR-A-LAGO Act.
The legislation would require the Trump administration to publish public visitor logs for the White House "or any other location where President Trump regularly conducts official business."
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) is also introducing a House version of the legislation.
Democrats have hounded the Trump administration to continue the Obama-era practice of publicly releasing visitor logs, and they want him to extend it to the Florida resort he has called the "winter White House."
Udall accused the administration of "stonewalling" and avoiding transparency.
"It's simple: the American people have a right to know who has access to the president and who has leverage over this administration," he said in a statement.
In addition to Mar-A-Lago and the White House, the legislation would include visitor lists for Trump Tower and the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.
Senate Democrats also sent a letter earlier this month to Trump and William Callahan, the Secret Service deputy director, asking whether they planned to publish visitor logs. The lawmakers noted on Friday that the White House has been unresponsive.
Whitehouse added that "if [Trump] won't adopt that policy himself, Congress should require it."
But the legislation faces an uphill battle in a GOP-controlled Congress, where Democrats will need to win Republican support to get any bill sent to Trump's desk.
The Obama administration published the logs roughly three to four months after they were created. The Democrats noted in their earlier letter that they would expect to start seeing Trump logs as soon as April 20 if the administration were to keep up the practice.
The White House's visitor records page is being "updated," according to the White House website.
"It will post records of White House visitors on an ongoing basis, once they become available," it says.
As of earlier this month, Trump has reportedly spent nearly a quarter of his time as president in the Sunshine State. The Sun Sentinel noted that the president had been in Palm Beach for five weekends since his inauguration.
John Wonderlich, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, is backing the Democratic bill, arguing that Congress must force the administration to publish the logs if it won't do so voluntarily.
"As long as President Trump continues to conduct public business in his private business, the same standards of disclosure should apply to Mar-a-Lago as the White House," he said.