Ruiz introduces ethics legislation

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Last Week, Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) introduced legislation to ensure public servants do not use their position to make a profit off the people they serve. The Ruiz Ethics Package includes three separate bills — the Campaign Spending Integrity Act, the Public Service Spending Integrity Act and the Public Service Transparency Act.

  “People shouldn’t be allowed to line their pockets when they’re in public service or running for office,” Ruiz said in the press release announcing the legislation. “I was deeply troubled that President Trump paid his own businesses over $8 million in campaign funds, and I’m troubled by the idea that any public servant can use tax dollars to increase their own profits.

“The public should feel confident that politicians are elected to serve the people, not get rich,” Ruiz added. “My ethics package helps prevent any elected official, regardless of party, from abusing their authority for personal gain.”

Ruiz’s bills are intended to close loopholes that allow candidates and elected officials or their families to profit and increase the transparency of their personal and business interests.

The Campaign Spending Integrity Act (H.R. 838) would prohibit federal candidates from using campaign funds on businesses they or their immediate family members own or control.

The Public Service Spending Integrity Act (H.R. 839) prohibits federal funds from being spent on businesses owned or controlled by the president, vice president, members of the cabinet or their immediate family members. This includes federal contracts. It would also prohibit members of Congress from using their personal office funds on ‎businesses owned or controlled by the member or their immediate family.

The Public Service Transparency Act (H.R. 840) requires candidates for president or vice president, as well as nominees for cabinet-level positions, and those same officials once they’ve been elected or confirmed, to release their tax returns. Trump continues to refuse to share his tax returns with the public.

H.R. 838 has been referred to the House Committee on Administration. H.R. 839 was referred to that committee, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. H.R. 840 was referred to the Oversight and Ways and Means committees.

The texts for the three bills have not been released.

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