Bipartisan Report: JUST IN: Rep. Perfectly Destroys Trump’s Monday With ‘Covfefe Act’
He’s only a few months into his presidency, but it’s still safe to say that no other president has used social media in the same way that Donald Trump has. As a result, an Illinois lawmaker is making an effort to ensure that President Trump and his successors are held accountable for what they post on the internet.
On Monday, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Illinois) announced that he was introducing the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act. The title is, obviously, a clever play on the random “covfefe” tweet that Trump posted nearly two weeks ago.
In a press release about the bill, Quigley said:
‘In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets. President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented. If the President is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference. Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post.’
The press release also explains further the importance of including the president’s personal Twitter account in the Presidential Records Act. Messages posted from the official @POTUS Twitter account must legally be preserved; however, the current law is not clear about the consequences of Trump deleting tweets from his personal account.
‘While his personal account has become the de facto account for government business, it is unclear as to whether or not it would be archived in the same manner as the official @POTUS account under the Presidential Records Act. Another concern relates to President Trump’s frequent deletion of tweets. Including social media in the Presidential Records Act ensures that deleted tweets are documented for archival purposes, and makes deleting tweets a violation of the Presidential Records Act, subject to disciplinary action.’
Quigley also tweeted about his bill on Monday morning, emphasizing the importance of preserving Trump’s social media statements
This is not Quigley’s first attempt at trying to hold the president accountable and force him to be more transparent. In March, he introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act, the purpose of which is to force Trump to make public the visitor logs to the White House and other locations where he regularly conducts presidential business.
Quigley is also not alone when it comes to turning Trump’s own words into bills that work against him. Last month, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California), in reference to the president’s promise to “drain the swamp,” introduced the Stop Waste And Misuse by the President (SWAMP) Act of 2017. This bill would require Trump to reimburse the government for public funds that are spent on travel to his hotels and other properties since these trips “result in the American taxpayer effectively subsidizing the President’s businesses.”
Despite their funny titles, the bills do take on important issues in the Trump administration that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, with a Republican-controlled Congress, it seems unlikely that bills like the COVFEFE Act will actually become law.