By Orhan Cam Royalty-free stock photo ID: 546416560 United States Capitol Building in Washington DC USA

POGO: Pass the Protecting Our Democracy Act


A leading government watchdog nonprofit is calling for passage of a bill that would put a time limit on presidentially declared emergency powers, strengthen congressional subpoena powers, protect inspectors general against potential politically-tainted removal and a host of other long-discussed reforms across all branches of the federal government. 

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) issued its most recent call for these and related enhancements in the Protecting Our Democracy Act bill—sometimes known as “PODA”—and noted how doing so would help buttress democratic institutions and democracies revealed, in the opinion of this group and many other good-government orgs, to be creaky in recent years. 

“The weaknesses in our systems of checks and balances and anti-corruption laws were already there—[but] the last administration just made them more visible to the broader public,” POGO’s director of public policy, Liz Hempowicz, said as part of a longer statement on the legislation. “If we want to prevent future abuses of power by the executive branch, we cannot ignore the systemic issues the Trump administration exposed. We must enact legislative reform now. The Protecting Our Democracy Act is a direct answer to public concerns about corruption in government. Congress must pass this bill to protect the integrity of our democracy.”

The group encourages the public and all interested parties to join them in pressing for passage of this wide-ranging reform. 

“Many of the measures included in PODA address issues POGO has raised for years,” the group said in its release, “including the broken system meant to protect our whistleblowers and the beleaguered inspector general system.”

Some other features of the legislation include provisions requiring the Department of Justice and the White House to submit detailed, specified information in order to effect certain executive branch pardons; ending any statute of limitations on federal offenses committed by a President or Vice President; authorizing Congress to act if a sitting President or Vice President accepts emoluments (e.g., gifts as bribes to get favors in return); strengthens disclosure requirements that apply to the President and Vice President—among many others.

2021 Digital Almanac

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