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
© Getty

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 MerkleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Oregon senator says Trump's blame on 'forest management' for wildfires is 'just a big and devastating lie' MORE (D-Ore.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDemocratic senator calls for eliminating filibuster, expanding Supreme Court if GOP fills vacancy McConnell says Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg will get Senate vote Massachusetts town clerk resigns after delays to primary vote count MORE (Mass.) and Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats unveil plan declaring racism a public health issue Overnight Defense: US, Russia trade blame over Syria incident | Pentagon calls out China's 'counterproductive' military exercises, missile test | Democrats press Esper on COVID-19 response Democrats press Esper on 'concerning' rise in Pentagon's COVID-19 cases MORE (D-Hawaii) introduced the Scrutinizing White House Activities that Make Profits (SWAMP) Act.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy 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.