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H.R. 5314: Protecting Our Democracy Act


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 21, 2021.


Protecting Our Democracy Act

This bill addresses issues involving (1) abuses of presidential power; (2) checks and balances, accountability, and transparency; and (3) foreign interference in elections.

Specifically, regarding abuses of presidential power, the bill

requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the President to submit to Congress specified materials relating to certain pardons, prohibits self-pardons by the President, suspends the statute of limitations for federal offenses committed by a sitting President or Vice President, prohibits the acceptance of foreign or domestic emoluments, and sets forth provisions regarding Office of Government Ethics and Office of Special Counsel jurisdiction and enforcement authority. To address checks and balances, accountability, and transparency, the bill

authorizes specified actions to enforce congressional subpoenas, imposes limits on presidential declarations of emergencies, requires DOJ to maintain a log of specified communications between it and the White House, requires cause for removal of inspectors general, increases whistleblower protections, requires a candidate for President or Vice President to submit to the Federal Election Commission a copy of the individual's income tax returns for the 10 most recent taxable years, and establishes penalties for political appointees who engage in prohibited political activities. To protect against foreign interference in elections, the bill

requires federal campaign reporting of foreign contacts, requires federal campaigns to establish a foreign contacts compliance policy, and specifies that foreign donations to political campaigns and candidates of nonpublic information relating to a candidate are prohibited.