Summary: H.R.8363 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.8363. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (09/23/2020)

Protecting Our Democracy Act

This bill addresses issues involving (1) abuses of presidential power; (2) checks and balances, accountability, and transparency; and (3) foreign interference in elections.

Specifically, regarding abuses of presidential power, the bill

  • requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the President to submit to Congress specified materials relating to certain pardons;
  • prohibits self-pardons by the President;
  • suspends the statute of limitations for any federal offense committed by a sitting President or Vice President;
  • prohibits the acceptance of foreign or domestic emoluments, authorizes civil actions by Congress concerning foreign emoluments, and requires the President to make certain disclosures; and
  • sets forth provisions regarding enforcement authority of the Office of Government Ethics and Office of Special Counsel jurisdiction.

To address checks and balances, accountability, and transparency, the bill, among other things

  • authorizes specified actions to enforce congressional subpoenas,
  • requires appropriations to be made available for obligation in a timely manner,
  • imposes limits on presidential declarations of emergencies,
  • requires DOJ to maintain a log of communications between it and the White House regarding certain investigations,
  • requires cause for removal of inspectors general,
  • increases whistleblower protections,
  • reauthorizes the Merit Systems Protection Board, and
  • establishes penalties for political appointees who engage in prohibited political activities.

To protect against foreign interference in elections, the bill

  • requires federal campaign reporting of foreign contacts,
  • requires federal campaigns to establish a foreign contacts compliance policy, and
  • specifies that foreign donations to political campaigns and candidates of nonpublic information relating to a candidate are prohibited.