Biden Administration Accused of Intervening to Kill Bipartisan Bill Aimed at Holding White House Accountable


It was supposed to be a win for ethical accountability in the executive branch — especially for Democrats who repeatedly accused presumptive GOP presidential nominee and former President Donald Trump of using his office to advance his family’s business interests, absent much evidence of that charge.

However, the bipartisan legislation might be killed in committee thanks to intervention from an unlikely source: President Joe Biden’s White House.

According to a Monday report in The Hill, the proposed ethics reform will potentially die on the vine because the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. don’t want the House Oversight and Accountability Committee looking into the Biden family.

The bill was championed by committee chairman Rep. James Comer, a Kentucky Republican, and California Democratic Rep. Katie Porter.

Despite coming from different ideological corners of the political arena — Comer is a reliable conservative, Porter a noted progressive who lost a primary challenge to the relatively more moderate Rep. Adam Schiff for California’s open Senate seat — they pledged to line up an equal number of votes from both sides of their respective aisle for the bill after it was introduced last month.

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“That careful balance soon fell apart, however, after three Democrats backed out of their previous commitments to support the bill — vanishing, Porter said, after the White House reached out to her colleagues,” The Hill reported.

Three Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Ro Khanna of California, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Kweisi Mfume of Maryland — withdrew their support on the night before the bill was to be introduced.

“It’s too partisan a tool to cudgel the president as opposed to a serious effort of bipartisan ethics reform,” Khanna said, adding he switched his vote after looking at “the content of it and then seeing some of the statements that I thought would be used.”

“I don’t think it was bipartisan enough,” the congressman said. However, he claimed the decision was reached “independently” and not by prodding from the White House.

Mfume, meanwhile, said he “wanted to see a larger bipartisan effort.”

“I was under the belief that there would be, and when there wasn’t, I just said, ‘Let me step off,’” he said.

Mfume also claimed there was no White House interference.

However, that seems unlikely when you realize what’s in the bill — which is a relatively mild piece of legislation — and what Democrats feared it would be used for.

The legislation centered around disclosure requirements for presidents and vice presidents regarding tax returns, conflicts of interests and any income earned from foreign sources by themselves or their relatives.

“Mr. Comer and I did extensive publicity about the bill. And [during] all of that publicity … both Mr. Comer and I took great pains to make clear that this is not about any future president, it is about having the right set of rules to restore trust in the executive,” Porter said.

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“The truth is, it is about restoring trust in government. Full stop,” she said.

Apparently, “restoring trust” is all well and good unless it can cost you an election — and Comer, who has investigated the business affairs of both Hunter and James Biden, could have benefited from some of the disclosure requirements.

“For instance, it would require detailing any loans made to family members and documenting when immediate relatives join the president on Air Force One, including whether the travel was for business purposes,” The Hill noted.

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“Both situations were raised by Republicans after Biden, while serving as vice president, loaned money to his brother and had his son accompany him on trips.”

Now, Comer said, without the Democratic sponsors, he’s left with a bill he likely won’t be able to get through the committee.

“I’m trying to get a bill passed right now,” the Kentucky lawmaker said, throwing his hands up in the air.

“I told my Republican members I would get as many co-sponsors as Katie got, because I want this to be truly bipartisan, because if it’s going to become law, it’s going to have to be bipartisan, right? So I said, ‘If you get four, I’ll get four. If you get none, I won’t have any,’” Comer said.

Where, then, did the Democrats go?

We’re supposed to buy that, on the eve of this bill beginning to move forward, three Democrats just happened to realize it didn’t strike their fancy.

It had nothing to do with a recently convicted first son who also faces tax charges that stem, in large part, from income derived from foreign sources. It had nothing to do with the fact that we’re five months out from an election.

No, they were just doing their job.

If you buy that, Hunter Biden has a great deal for you on the Brooklyn Bridge. He sits on the board, you know.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture