Newly Introduced ‘OMAR Act’ Would Block Lawmakers from Paying Spouses

Newly introduced Republican legislation would prevent lawmakers from using campaign funds to enrich their spouses.

The Oversight for Members And Relatives, or OMAR, Act was introduced Friday by Wisconsin Reps. Mike Gallagher (R.) and Tom Tiffany (R.), and specifically references the millions of dollars Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (D.) has sent from her campaign to her husband's consulting firm. In the most recent cycle Omar's campaign sent $2.9 million to the firm, accounting for nearly 80 percent of its political business.

"Loopholes that allow members of Congress to funnel campaign funds to their spouses are despicable and erode trust in our government," Gallagher said.

The congressmen point to past support across the political spectrum for further oversight of payments to family—a 2007 proposal by Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) would have barred spouses from being on any campaign's payroll.

"Regardless of political party, we should all be able to agree that running for political office shouldn’t be part of a family enrichment scheme," Tiffany said. "Passing the OMAR Act will help restore public confidence in Congress and stop politicians from effectively pocketing their campaign funds."

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