The House passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would force presidents and former presidents to make public who donates to their libraries and how much.
According to The Hill, the legislation has been approved in the House four times since 2002. Called the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act, it did not make it out of the Senate the previous three occasions.
The intent of the bill is to pinpoint whether there is any pay-for-play activity happening during an administration.
"The public should be made aware of possible conflicts of interest that sitting presidents can have or may have while raising funds for their libraries," Republican Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee told the Hill.
"We do not know who these donors to the presidential libraries are or what interests they may have on any pending policy decisions that are to be made."
If the bill passes in the Senate and is signed into law, presidents and former presidents would have to submit quarterly updates for donations of $200 or more.
Former President Bill Clinton received donations from foreign governments like Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations, Roll Call reports. That gave Duncan the motivation to write the bill.
"Presidents can raise funds for his or her library while still in office, and that provides an opportunity for corporations or wealthy individuals to cozy up — it's an avenue for potential influence peddling," Craig Holman of the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen told Roll Call. "It should be fully disclosed."
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