A Democratic member of the House Oversight Committee alleged Monday that several in her party who had initially indicated support for a bipartisan presidential ethics bill got cold feet after talking to the White House.

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., previously announced the filing of a “landmark federal ethics reform bill” with Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the committee’s chairman, targeting financial disclosures, family members joining official travel junkets and other issues.

Comer and Porter announced the Presidential Ethics Reform Act in late May, which itself reportedly stemmed from a back-and-forth between lawmakers during a March hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

Porter, who lives in Orange County, California, claimed Monday that after she and Comer worked to recruit an equal number of bipartisan co-sponsors, the deal imploded while she was in the air on her way back to Washington.


Katie Porter at campaign event

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) speaks to supporters, volunteers and staff at an election night watch party at the Hilton Orange County Hotel on Nov. 8, 2022. (Apu Gomes/Getty Images)

“I … was proud that I had found three senior Democratic co-sponsors. When I landed, I was really disappointed to learn that those co-sponsors had decided not to support the bill and had had conversations with the White House,” Porter claimed in comments to The Hill newspaper.

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for comment, as the paper cited three Democratic lawmakers it reported to be whom Porter was referring – Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.

Mfume declined comment and the other two lawmakers did not respond. Porter’s office also did not provide comment.

A source familiar with the situation, however, confirmed reports on the matter to Fox News Digital.

The ethics bill did garner at least one major public supporter, as billionaire “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban posted, “All for this.”

Congress’ official website shows Comer introduced the legislation on May 22 and listed Porter as its only current co-sponsor. Congress.gov indicated the bill has since been referred to the Oversight Committee.



The White House is photographed from Lafayette Park on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

During a March 20 Biden impeachment inquiry hearing, Porter said the probe hit a “dead end” and that the next step should be to “stop bipartisan attacks on each other.”

“The American people think that the rules that prevent corruption are way too weak to stop politicians from both sides of the aisle from influence peddling,” Porter added. 

After she ended her remarks, Comer interjected to say he believed the Democrat was “sincere” and that he “look[ed] forward to working with [her] on that legislation” in the future.

The bill would require presidents and vice presidents to record and disclose payments or “items of value” given to them by foreign sources two years prior to and after their terms, as well as while they are in office.

It would also require the two top national executives to disclose inter-familial payments of more than $10,000 during that same time period, and also provide stricter rules regarding disclosure of conflicts-of-interest.


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“Influence peddling is a cottage industry in Washington, and we’ve identified deficiencies in current law that have led to a culture of corruption,” Comer said of the bill.

“By creating this bipartisan legislation to provide greater transparency to the financial interactions related to the office of the president and vice-president, we can ensure that moving forward, American presidents, vice presidents, and their family members cannot profit from their proximity to power.”

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