Well, at least you have to give Democrats in Congress credit for creativity when it comes to naming proposed laws.
Enter the MAR-A-LAGO Act – which stands for the “Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act.”
If you remember, Barack Obama promised that his administration would be the most transparent in history — and ended up objectively being the least transparent.
During his last year in office, Obama spent over $36 million in legal costs to defend his administration against lawsuits related to his refusal to honor a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The Associated Press noted the Obama administration “set records for outright denial of access to files, refusing to quickly consider requests described as especially newsworthy, and forcing people to pay for records who had asked the government to waive search and copy fees.”
None of that bothered Congressional Democrats then — but they’re back with the Mar-A-Lago Act, concerned about President Donald Trump’s transparency.
According to CNBC:
The legislation would require the publication of White House visitor logs, something that was done regularly by the Obama administration but has since ended since President Trump took office. It would also mandate the release of visitor logs at other locations where the president conducts business — for example, Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida resort that he has recently called the Southern White House.
Introduced by Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Tom Carper of Delaware and Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois, it comes after the president spent five weekends in Mar-a-Lago since his inauguration.
“By refusing to release the White House visitor logs, President Trump is only validating the rampant concerns about who may be pulling the levers in his administration,” Udall said in a statement. “The president should end his administration’s disturbing pattern of stonewalling information and immediately reinstate the previous administration’s policy of publishing White House visitor logs. And given President Trump’s unprecedented decision to conduct official business at his private business properties, the Trump administration has an obligation to make public the visitor lists at places like Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower.”
To be honest, it would be to Trump’s benefit to release those visitor logs. They’re unlikely to reveal anything — and will undoubtedly lead to another Rachel Maddow segment we can all laugh at.
Of course, that bill would have to make it through both Republican dominated houses of Congress, and be signed by Trump himself. The goal of proposing this bill isn’t to actually get it passed, it’s to have Republicans shoot it down so that Congressional Democrats can speculate they have something to hide.
[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]