GOA Investigating Trump's Mar-a-Lago Trips

Posted March 31, 2017

The Mar-A-Lago Act - formally "Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act - has little chance of making it through Congress, but is another sign of the unique dynamics brought by President Trump".

Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Tom Carper of DE and Rep. Mike Quigley of IL are also co-sponsoring the bill.

In a letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Government Accountability Office said Monday it would begin the inquiry into Trump's Mar-a-Lago visits "shortly", after Cummings and Democratic Sens.

The MAR-A-LAGO Act requires the Trump administration to do just one thing: maintain logs of visitors both to the White House and the president's Florida estate Mar-a-Lago - previously touted as the Winter White House but now being dubbed as the Southern White House, because let's be honest, he is not going to stop going there during the summer. "Many Americans are rightly anxious about whether the wealthy and well-connected are being given special treatment and undue influence in the Trump White House". Critics, like the Democrats who put forward this bill, say the paid memberships at Mar-a-Lago constitute the purchase of access to the President. "In addition, we are concerned about the expenditure of taxpayer funds at Mar-a-Lago by the Secret Service and other government officials associated with the President".

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Given that the legislation would have to make it through a Republican-controlled Congress and be signed by Trump himself, it's unlikely that the bill will go anywhere.

"White House visitor logs help provide the American people with an important look at who is meeting with the President and his staff and a greater understanding of White House business", said Reed.

"By refusing to release the White House visitor logs, President Trump is only validating the rampant concerns about who may be pulling the levers in his administration", Udall said in a statement. It will consider what security screening procedures the resort has implemented for members and their guests when the president is visiting.

SinceTrump took office, the page of White House Records on whitehouse.gov has a message saying "This page is being updated". Press Secretary Sean Spicer said earlier this month that excursions to Mar-a-Lago are "part of being president".