Cicilline, Top Dems Introduce DRAIN the Swamp Act

Oct 11, 2017

WASHINGTON – Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) Co-Chair David N. Cicilline (D-RI) introduced new legislation today to bring a new level of transparency to the Trump administration’s multiple conflicts of interests.


The Determining if Regulatory Actions are in the Interest of the Nation or the Swamp (DRAIN the Swamp) Act will require agencies to report any conflicts of interest for President Trump or senior members of his administration when changing major rules. The bill is co-sponsored by leading House Democrats, including Reps. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).  


“Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp. But that’s not what he’s doing. He’s undermining regulations in order to benefit himself, his family, and his close friends,” said Cicilline, who serves as Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the DRAIN the Swamp Act. "The American people deserve to know that the President and his top officials are acting in the public interest, not in their own financial interests.”


The DRAIN the Swamp Act requires greater transparency for the most important regulatory actions: rules that have a $100 million effect on the economy or will result in a major increase in costs or prices for consumers. Under Cicilline’s legislation, agencies will be required to report whether adopting or rescinding major rules will substantially enrich President Trump or senior officials in the Trump Administration.


Major rules will not go into effect until this information is reported to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In addition, the legislation provides judicial review to ensure the public may compel agencies to publish critical information regarding the President’s regulatory conflicts of interest.


Since President Trump took office earlier this year, conflicts of interest have raised serious questions surrounding his administration. In July, the New York Times investigated “a string of possible conflicts, including some hires who may be reviewing rules their previous employers tried to weaken or kill, and others who may personally profit if certain regulations are changed.”