Democrats introduce SWAMP Act to ban meetings with foreign leaders at Trump properties

Democrats introduce SWAMP Act to ban meetings with foreign leaders at Trump properties
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A group of Senate Democrats introduced legislation Monday that would block the Trump administration from holding meetings with foreign heads of state at Trump-owned properties.

Sens. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyInterest rate caps are popular — for good reason Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development MORE (D-Ore.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyKennedy, Markey neck-and-neck in Massachusetts primary: poll Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development MORE (Mass.) and Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Senate Dems blast Barr for 'clear violation' of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign What the impeachment vote looked like from inside the chamber MORE (D-Hawaii) introduced the Scrutinizing White House Activities that Make Profits (SWAMP) Act.

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The measure would ban the administration from using taxpayer funds to meet with a foreign leader or hold other multilateral meetings at Trump International Hotel, Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, Trump National Doral or any other property the president or his immediate family has majority ownership in.

The bill, which has little chance of advancing in the GOP-controlled Senate, comes after Trump reversed his decision to hold next year's Group of Seven (G-7) summit at a Trump Organization property in Doral, Fla., amid fierce pushback from Democrats and some Republicans.

“It’s time for Congress to step in and make it crystal clear: President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE cannot profiteer off of his meetings with foreign leaders — not with the G-7, not ever,” Merkley said in a statement.

Trump dismissed criticism that his since-reversed plan would have led to an ethics violation.

"I don't think you people, with this phony Emoluments Clause — and by the way, I would say that it's cost anywhere from $2 billion to $5 billion to be president," Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Monday.

The Emoluments Clause prohibits elected federal officials from receiving gifts or contributions from foreign governments.

Trump also insisted that he would not have profited off of hosting world leaders, scores of journalists and other staff at his family-owned resort near Miami.