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Trump signs bill preventing taxpayer money from being used for portraits of federal employees

Trump signs bill preventing taxpayer money from being used for portraits of federal employees
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President TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE on Tuesday signed legislation that bars the use of taxpayer funds for portraits of current and former federal employees.

The Eliminating Government-funded Oil-painting Act, introduced in January 2017 by Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyCalls grow for national paid family leave amid pandemic Senators urge Energy chief to prioritize cybersecurity amid growing threats Vivek Murthy confirmed as surgeon general MORE (R-La.), prohibits any taxpayer dollars from being used by federal agencies for portraits of all federal employees, including the president. 

“The national debt is over $20 trillion,” said Cassidy in a statement to Government Executive. 

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“There’s no excuse for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on paintings of government officials.”

The legislation was spurred by a Senate report detailing more than $400,000 spent on official portraits of government employees since 2010.

Some of the portraits examined cost more than $40,000, including one of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that cost $46,790 in 2010.

It was Rumsfeld's second commissioned portrait and was presented to him after his retirement at a ceremony.

Trump's signature on the measure comes just after his secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben CarsonBen CarsonCOVID-19 homelessness is a public health problem — it's about to get worse Marcia Fudge — 'The Fixer' — will take on HUD Biden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug MORE, reportedly tried to reallocate funds meant for office furniture to commission portraits of some former HUD secretaries to hang outside his office.