Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and colleagues Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) on Monday introduced the Scrutinizing White House Activities that Make Profits (SWAMP) Act of 2019, legislation to prohibit any multilateral summits or meetings with foreign heads of state from being held at Trump Organization-owned properties.
The SWAMP Act follows President Trump’s recent attempt to host the G-7 summit at his Trump National Doral Miami golf resort. While President Trump backed down from that plan over the weekend, he has not stated that he will not try to hold future summits at Doral or other Trump properties, the senators said.
” Trump’s attempt to hold the G-7 at his own resort was corrupt. It was a violation of the Constitution. It was an abuse of power. And we must put an end to his self-dealing, ” Merkley said in a news release.
” The fact that the President thinks that it is okay to write himself a check from taxpayer money and foreign governments shows the absolute depth of his corruption. It’s time for Congress to step in and make it crystal clear: President Trump cannot profiteer off of his meetings with foreign leaders–not with the G-7, not ever. ”
The senators said President Trump and his family almost certainly would have profited off of hosting the government-funded G-7 summit at Doral in multiple ways. The summit would have filled the hotel at a time of year when the property is typically at its most unprofitable.
As Washington Post journalist David Farenthold reported, in 2017, only 38% of Doral’s rooms were occupied during the month of June, when the summit is to be held. Additionally, the hosting of a major world summit at a Trump property would have brought incalculable free publicity to Doral and the Trump brand worldwide, the lawmakers said.
The SWAMP Act would ban U.S. taxpayer dollars from being used towards any multilateral or head of state meeting from being held at:
·Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C.;
·Trump Tower, New York;
·Trump National Doral Golf Resort;
·Mar-a-Lago Club; and
·any other property in which the President or his immediate family holds a majority ownership.