GOP leaders prevent votes to ban federal spending at Trump businesses
© Greg Nash

House GOP leaders won’t be allowing votes this week on Democratic proposals to prevent taxpayer funds from benefiting businesses owned by President Trump.

Multiple Democrats had filed amendments to a government spending package set to be considered on the House floor this week to ensure the president is not personally enriched by the federal government.

Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who are among the fiercest critics of the president, proposed measures to prohibit federal funds from being used to enter contracts with or spend money at Trump-owned businesses.


Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Intel heads to resume threats hearing scrapped under Trump | New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy | Amazon backs corporate tax hike to pay for infrastructure Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden tasks Harris on border; news conference today MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, also submitted an amendment prohibiting the Secret Service from spending money at entities owned or operated by Trump.

But the House Rules Committee, which decides how legislation is considered on the floor, declined to greenlight votes on any of those proposals.

GOP leaders, wary of allowing floor votes that could divide Republicans or embarrass Trump, previously prevented votes on similar amendments to another national security-themed spending package in July.

"It is shameful that Republicans are allowing Trump to profit off the Presidency. History will look back on the President's actions as a brazen violation of our Constitution," Cohen said in a statement.

The high costs of protecting Trump, who has frequently traveled to his properties in New Jersey and Florida since taking office, are straining the Secret Service budget. Secret Service Director Randolph Alles told USA Today in August that more than 1,000 agents have already hit the salary and overtime caps meant to last for the whole year.

USA Today also found that the Secret Service has spent about $60,000 on golf cart rentals to protect Trump at his courses at Mar-a-Lago in Florida and Bedminster, N.J.

And in July, The Washington Post reported that the State Department spent more than $15,000 to book rooms at the Trump hotel in Vancouver when members of the Trump family attended its grand opening.

The House Rules Committee also declined to allow votes on amendments submitted by Democrats and one centrist Republican to keep intact the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program shielding nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Multiple Democrats, including Reps. Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyOvernight Defense: Tucker Carlson comments cause military rage | Capitol guard duty questioned | Vet who served in Marine One unit charged in insurrection Voters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican House Democrats eyeing much broader Phase 3 stimulus MORE (Calif.), Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyLawmakers, whistleblower advocates push Biden to fill federal employment board The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump teases on 2024 run Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (Va.) and Schiff, submitted amendments that would prohibit the Trump administration from deporting DACA recipients.

Centrist Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) also similarly filed amendments to keep DACA in place and prevent deportations of DACA beneficiaries.

But the Rules Committee did not grant votes on Curbelo’s amendments, either.

Congress is expected to pass a three-month funding extension later this month to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1. Yet House GOP leaders want to move the spending package this week to finish work on the annual appropriations bills for fiscal 2018 ahead of what's expected to be a longer-term deal in December.