The architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has unveiled her latest attempt to regulate behavior through enforcement: the U.S. Office of Public Integrity, a proposed federal agency designed to monitor and, when applicable, penalize former government officials who try to profit from their public service by becoming lobbyists.
In a press conference today, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) debuted her proposed bureaucracy as part of a bill called the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act
, which would mandate a lifetime ban on lobbying for presidents, vice presidents, members of Congress, federal judges and Cabinet secretaries plus a multi-year ban for Congressional staff members and federal agency employees. The new bill also would require the IRS to release eight years of tax returns for all presidential and vice presidential candidates, along with annual tax return releases once they are elected to office. The president and vice president would be required to place any assets that could be considered as a conflict of interest into a blind trust and sold off, and all members of the three federal branches would be banned from owning individual stocks while in office.
“Let’s face it: There’s no real question that the Trump era has given us the most nakedly corrupt leadership this nation has seen in our lifetimes,” said Warren. “But they are not the cause of the rot—they’re just the biggest, stinkiest example of it. Corruption is a form of public cancer, and Washington’s got it bad.”
The new bill is Warren’s latest to unilaterally rewrite federal policy. Last week, she introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which would create an Office of United States Corporations inside the Department of Commerce and require corporations with revenue over $1 billion to receive a new federal charter of corporate citizenship. Warren argued this would force corporations to be more accountable to employees and the communities they serve, adding that the bill would require workers to elect 40 percent of the members of a corporation’s board of directors.
While the two bills would seem to be a philosophical foundation for a potential run for president in 2020, Warren insisted she had no designs on the White House and was only focused on being re-elected in November to another term as the senator from Massachusetts.