Schumer proposes measure to keep Trump’s name off coronavirus stimulus checks

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is not pleased that President Donald Trump’s name will appear on stimulus checks being sent out to millions of Americans – and he is planning to put forward legislation to stop it from happening again. 

The No Politics in Pandemic Recovery Act, or No PR Act, proposed by Schumer would prohibit the use of any taxpayer funds “for any publicity or promotional activity that includes the names, likeness, or signature” of Trump or Vice President Mike Pence. 

“President Trump unfortunately appears to see the pandemic as just another opportunity to promote his own political interests. 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,” Schumer said in a statement. “Delaying the release of stimulus checks so his signature could be added is a waste of time and money.” 

‘It’s a terrific symbol’:Mnuchin takes credit for adding Trump’s name to coronavirus stimulus checks

The Treasury Department insisted there was “absolutely no delay whatsoever” in getting out the checks, which included up to $1,200 per American taxpayer as part of a $2 trillion stimulus package passed in March known as the CARES A. That statement came after The Washington Post – which first reported Trump’s name would be included on the checks – cited senior IRS officials who believed adding the president’s moniker was sure to slow the process down. 

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Because Trump is not authorized to endorse checks from the Treasury, his name is being added to the memo line of the checks. According to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump could have been authorized to sign them but that process “would have slowed things down.” 

The Post reported that Trump had urged Mnuchin to let him sign the checks, but last week Mnuchin told CNN it had been his initiative. 

“That was my idea. He is the president, and I think it’s a terrific symbol to the American public,” Mnuchin said. 

Trump told reporters he “didn’t know too much about” his name being added to the checks but he was “sure people will be very happy to get a big, fat, beautiful check, and my name is on it.” 

“I do understand it’s not delaying anything, and I’m satisfied with that,” Trump said. “I don’t imagine it’s a big deal.” 

Schumer plans to try to include the No PR Act in future stimulus legislation, according to Politico.

On Friday, Trump signed a $484 billion package to replenish a small business emergency loan program after its initial funds were depleted in less than two weeks. That bill also included $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion to expand coronavirus testing.

Democrats want to move forward with another rescue package, which Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refer to as CARES 2.They want additional funding to help state, local and tribal governments recover from the coronavirus outbreak, which required massive emergency spending as tax revenues plummeted.

It is unclear if a new package would include additional payments to taxpayers. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is urging patience before approving more money. And last week he caused an uproar when he suggested that some overburdened states be allowed to file for bankruptcy

Trump previously indicated he was willing to work with Democrats on approving more money for the states. But on Monday he tweeted, “Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help?” 

“I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?” he wrote

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