Stimulus bill to prohibit Trump family, lawmakers from benefiting from loan programs
The $2 trillion stimulus bill that the White House and Senate leaders agreed to early Wednesday morning prohibits lawmakers or President Trump’s family from benefiting from loans or investments through its corporate liquidity program.
“We wrote a provision, not just the president, but any major figure in government, Cabinet, Senate, congressmen — if they have majority, they have majority control, they can’t get grants or loans, and that makes sense,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a CNN interview. “Those of us who write the law shouldn’t benefit from the law.”
Trump acknowledged Saturday that the coronavirus pandemic is hurting his family business. Since the start of the U.S. outbreak, dozens of state and local governments have ordered nonessential businesses — such as hotels and resorts — to close.
“I wouldn’t say you’re thriving when you decide to close down your hotels and your businesses,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about reports that Trump Organization properties are being adversely affected by COVID-19.
“But is it hurting me? Yeah, it’s hurting me, and it’s hurting Hilton, and it’s hurting all of the great hotel chains all over the world,” he added.
At a Saturday morning White House press briefing, Trump was asked if he would accept money from the stimulus package meant to counter some of the damage the pandemic has done to the economy.
“I don’t know,” Trump said. “I just don’t know what the government assistance would be for what I have. I have hotels. Everybody knew I had hotels when I got elected. They knew I was a successful person when I got elected, so it’s one of those things.”
REPORTER: Do you expect your business to seek government assistance?
TRUMP: “I don’t know.” pic.twitter.com/VE2I9n3YKE
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 21, 2020
The provision to ban lawmakers from benefiting from Treasury Department programs in the stimulus bill was among 19 items highlighted by Schumer in his letter to colleagues describing the contents of the bill.
“Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has secured a provision in the agreement that will prohibit businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs,” his office said in an email to reporters. “The children, spouses and in-laws of the aforementioned principals are also included in this prohibition.”
Last week, four senators were accused of potential insider trading after it was revealed that they sold off a significant amount of stock after a Senate briefing on the potential economic impact of the coronavirus. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) requested that the Senate Ethics Committee launch an investigation into his stock trading after multiple calls were made for his resignation.
The Senate plans to vote later Wednesday on the nearly $2 trillion package, which is expected to pass with bipartisan support.