Rep. Jared Golden leads a committee hearing (Image via Facebook)
Rep. Jared Golden leads a committee hearing (Image via Facebook)

Rep. Jared Golden introduced a plan to reduce corruption in government, and it includes a bill that would stop high-ranking government officials and their families from making money off foreign companies.

That bill, called the Stop Foreign Payoffs Act, would specifically prohibit presidents, vice presidents, cabinet secretaries, members of Congress and their immediate families from earning a salary or holding an investment in a foreign business as long as they are in office. 

“I thought I knew how bad things were in Washington,” said Golden in a statement. “But it wasn’t until I got to Congress that I saw just how often big-money and special interests call the shots and how corruption takes place in broad daylight. All the money and influence peddling keeps Congress from getting things done for our constituents and from advancing bipartisan priorities, like lowering the cost of prescription drugs and improving services for our veterans.”

Golden also included five other bills that focus on reducing government corruption. They aim to do things like banning “conflicted” trading, which would prohibit sitting members of Congress from buying or selling individual stocks, and closing a loophole to stop former members of Congress from engaging in “shadow lobbying” after they leave office. 

Golden also included another bill that would require the president, vice president and political appointees to disclose financial interests for themselves and their families, and bar political appointees from accepting payment from foreign entities. 

“If we’re ever going to make real progress on the issues that matter most to Mainers, we need to fix the entire system,” Golden said. “I want people to have faith in the power of our democracy and our leaders again, and I’m hopeful these proposals will put us on that path.”

Fair election advocates welcomed Golden’s work. 

“[Golden’s legislative] package as a whole moves us closer to the just and ethical democracy we deserve,” Public Citizen’s Emily Peterson-Cassin said in a statement