“Democrats need to use whatever tools are at their disposal,” said Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., his party’s point man on ethics. Using the appropriations process, he added, is “fair game.”


House Democrats this week are trying to hitch a slate of amendments to the appropriations minibus, all targeting the business, family members and scandals of President Donald Trump.

The amendments, offered in the Rules Committee, are part of the minority party’s larger effort to tie their Republican colleagues to Trump’s possible conflicts of interest stemming from his business holdings and the government’s probe of alleged collusion by Trump campaign officials with Russia to influence the 2016 elections.

Republicans on the Rules Committee are set to nix some of the proposals Wednesday when they complete a rule for the defense portion of the four-bill spending package.

It’s a scenario that has played out on similar Democratic tactics aimed at the president and his ethics, such as resolutions of inquiry. GOP lawmakers have called the Democrats’ strategy blatantly political and have said the measures are often duplicative of ongoing investigations and existing ethics laws.

But Democrats want to keep the pressure up into the 2018 elections.

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