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Congressman Raul Ruiz

Representing the 36th District of California

Dr. Ruiz Introduces Ethics Bills that Put Public Service Before Personal Profits

July 10, 2019
Press Release
Legislation ensures that politicians serve their constituents, not themselves

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-Palm Desert) introduced three bills to increase transparency in Washington and protect taxpayers from unethical use of their tax dollars. The Ruiz Ethics Package includes the Public Service Transparency Act, the Coach-Only Airfare for Capitol Hill (COACH) Act, and the Campaign Spending Integrity Act. The fourth bill included in the package, the Public Service Spending Transparency Act, passed the House as part H.R. 1, the For The People Act, earlier this year.

“The American people should have confidence that their elected officials are working to serve the people they represent, not to enrich themselves,” said Dr. Ruiz. “The bills I introduced today will guarantee that politicians in Washington are held accountable to the voters who elected them. I am deeply troubled that President Trump continues to spend campaign funds at his own businesses, and I stand firm in my belief that no public servant should ever abuse their office to line their own pockets.”

 

Background

Today, Dr. Ruiz introduced three bills to close loopholes that allow candidates and elected officials or their families to profit and increase the transparency of their personal and business interests.

  • The Campaign Spending Integrity Act prohibits federal candidates from using campaign funds on businesses they or their immediate family members own or control.
  • The Public Service Transparency Act requires candidates for President or Vice President, as well as nominees for cabinet-level positions, and those same officials once they’ve been elected or confirmed, to release their tax returns.
  • The COACH Act prevents Members of Congress or Congressional staff from using personal office funds on first-class airfare.

The first bill – the Campaign Spending Integrity Act – comes after reports indicating that President Trump’s re-election campaign has directed a total of $1.3 million in campaign funds to his own businesses. That total includes $168,000 in campaign funds spent at the President’s hotels, restaurants, and other properties during the first quarter of 2019.

Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Dr. Ruiz’s legislation – the Public Service Spending Integrity Act – as part of H.R. 1, the For the People Act. The bill prohibits federal dollars from being spent on businesses owned or controlled by the President, Vice President, members of the cabinet, and their immediate family members. This includes federal contracts.