You knew it was only a matter of time before “covfefe” starred in a House bill. The infamous word President Donald Trump made up during a late night tweet is now in the title of a new bill introduced by Representative Mike Quiqley, a Democrat from Illinois. This morning, he unveiled his “Covfefe Act,” which will expand the Presidential Records Act to include social media.
Trump tweeted “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” in the early morning hours of May 31. The tweet stayed up for hours, causing a social media firestorm, before it was finally deleted.
The president was unable to admit that it was just a typo and later wrote, “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’ ??? Enjoy!” Then, Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the press that it was some sort of a code word that only a “small group” of people know the meaning of.
While there was a lighthearted aspect to the situation, Quigley believes that the situation highlights how Trump frequently deletes messages on Twitter that should be archived. In a statement issued today, Quigley says that the Presidential Records Act does not specify if all tweets should be archived, although the National Archives said in 2014 that social media should be recorded for historical purposes.
So Quigley is suggesting that “social media” be added to the Presidential Records Act. He’s calling the bill the “Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement.” Since that’s not likely to get attention, he’s also dubbed it the “Covfefe Act.”
The goal of the bill is “To amend section 2201 of title 44, United States Code, to require the preservation of presidential social media accounts, and for other purposes,” it reads.
“In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets,” Quigley, the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, said in a statement. “President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented. If the President is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference. Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post.”
This isn’t the first bill Quigley has introduced in his ongoing effort for more transparency from the Trump Administration. He also introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act in March.
You can read the entire bill below: