Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has announced his plan to introduce legislation that would prohibit President Donald Trump from signing his name on future stimulus checks.
It’s legislation that some Republican lawmakers call petty.
The legislation, titled the ‘No Politics in Pandemic Recovery Act,’ or ‘No PR Act,’ would prevent taxpayer money from being used for any “promotional activity” including President Trump or Vice President Pence’s name, likeness or signature. According to a Politico report, Sen. Schumer’s goal is to add this legislation to the next coronavirus stimulus package.
The Senate Minority Leader is planning to introduce this legislation following the Treasury Department’s decision to print President Trump’s name on the $1,200 stimulus checks for millions of Americans impacted by the economic devastation of the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent shutdowns.
Despite calling out the President for his signatures, labeling them as a PR stunt, Sen. Schumer has never been one to shy away from the media spotlight. An old joke in Washington goes, “The most dangerous place in Washington is between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera.” There is arguably no bigger “publicity hound” in Congress than the Democrat from Brooklyn, who has been on television dozens of times in the last six weeks.
Senator Schumer elaborated on his idea in a statement to The Hill. “Trump unfortunately appears to see the pandemic as just another opportunity to promote his own political interests,” said Schumer. “The No PR Act puts an end to the president’s exploitation of taxpayer money for promotional material that only benefits his re-election campaign.”
He added that “delaying the release of stimulus checks so his signature could be added is a waste of time and money.”
Moreover, Schumer’s colleague, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week, in which he asked for “details about how you made this decision to benefit the president politically, which may delay delivery of critical funds to millions of Americans struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table.”
Last week, Congress passed a $484 billion coronavirus aid bill to provide $380 billion to small businesses, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for testing.
The Senate is set to return to Washington on Monday, May 4.
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Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix
While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.
The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.
“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.
“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”
For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.
National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”
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