Schumer to introduce ‘No PR Act’ to stop Trump from placing name on stimulus checks

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is planning to introduce legislation that would prevent President Trump from placing his name on any additional coronavirus stimulus checks. 

The proposal, dubbed the No Politics in Pandemic Recovery Act, or No PR Act, would prohibit taxpayer money from being used for any “promotional activity” including Trump or Vice President Pence’s name, likeness or signature. Schumer is pushing for the provision to go in the next coronavirus stimulus package, Politico reported

“Trump unfortunately appears to see the pandemic as just another opportunity to promote his own political interests,” Schumer said in a statement to The Hill. “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.”

The move from the New York Democrat follows the Treasury Department’s decision to order Trump’s name to be  printed on the $1,200 stimulus checks going to millions of Americans impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The checks are one of the products of the $2.2 trillion relief package Congress approved in March. 
Trump’s full name will appear on the memo line, the Treasury Department confirmed earlier this month. About 70 million Americans are expected to receive checks with Trump’s name on them, while at least 80 million others will have the payments directly deposited into their bank accounts.
In his statement about the provision, Schumer zeroed in on a Washington Post report that said shipments of the checks were delayed due to the order to place Trump’s name on them. The Treasury Department has denied this, saying that the payments went out “exactly as planned.”

“Delaying the release of stimulus checks so his signature could be added is a waste of time and money,” Schumer said. 

Sen. Rony Wyden (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, has also called for more information on the Treasury Department’s decision.

He sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week requesting “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.”

Congress last week passed a $484 billion aid bill granting more support for small businesses, hospitals and coronavirus testing. Democrats are aggressively advocating for more legislation that grants funding to states, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has thus far pushed for moving “cautiously” on any new relief bill.

This report was updated at 12:03 p.m.

Tags Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Steven Mnuchin

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