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 John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 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 CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyBottom Line I'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Washington takes historic step forward on paid parental leave 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. 

“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 CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonCarson's affordable housing idea drawing undue flak Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules it says are too lax MORE, reportedly tried to reallocate funds meant for office furniture to commission portraits of some former HUD secretaries to hang outside his office.