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.