Democrats Introduce 'Mar-A-Lago Act' To Make Trump Meetings More Transparent

The bill's authors say Americans have a "right to know" who may be reaching out to the president at his private resort.

Senate and House Democrats on Friday introduced the “Mar-a-Lago Act,” which would require President Donald Trump to provide visitor logs detailing who spends time with him at the golf resort referred to as his “winter White House.”

The bill — awkwardly named the Make Access Records Available to Lead American Government Open Act and referred to by the acronym MAR-A-LAGO — would require that the Trump administration publish visitor logs from the White House and any other place where the president “regularly conducts official business.” 

Visitor logs at the actual White House are supposed to be maintained so the public can keep track of possible presidential meetings with people such as lobbyists, foreign representatives and heads of corporations. But so far, the Trump administration hasn’t made public White House visitor logs, reports NBC.

“It’s simple: the American people have a right to know who has access to the president and who has leverage over this administration,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said in a statement.

Senate bill co-author Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) noted that the “business of the president of the United States is the business of the people of the United States. Americans have long had the right to know who has access and influence in the White House, and this tradition of sunlight on inner workings of the executive branch must continue.”

Senate Democrats sent a letter to the administration earlier this month to request that Mar-a-Lago visitor logs be made available, but say they received no response.

The Obama administration began keeping visitor logs at the White House in 2009 — noting the names of 6 million visitors during the presidency — after a lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The Mar-a-Lago bill has little chance of passing in a Republican-controlled Congress, but it serves to publicly underscore the secretive nature of Trump’s meetings within the walls of his private resort, where memberships cost $200,000 plus annual dues.

CORRECTION: This article previously mischaracterized Mar-a-Lago’s $200,000 initiation fee as an annual membership fee.

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