Sen. Chuck Schumer is vowing to make sure President Donald Trump’s name does not appear on paper checks issued to those affected by the country’s economic crisis.
USA Today reported that the Senate minority leader is pushing a measure that would prevent the president’s name from appearing on funds issued by the federal government.
“President Trump unfortunately appears to see the pandemic as just another opportunity to promote his own political interests,” the Democrat said in a statement.
Schumer has proposed the so-called No Politics in Pandemic Recovery Act that would prohibit the use of any taxpayer dollars “for any publicity or promotional activity that includes the names, likeness, or signature” of Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.
“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.
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Politico reported that the Treasury Department ordered that Trump’s name appear coronavirus stimulus checks following the passage of the $2 trillion CARES Act last month.
Critics of the president’s name appearing on the checks say it will lead to payments to Americans being delayed.
“Delaying the release of stimulus checks so his signature could be added is a waste of time and money,” Schumer said.
According to USA Today, the Treasury Department said there has been no delay of checks sent out in order to have the president’s name printed on them.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that it was his idea to put Trump’s name on the checks, and that any notion there has been a delay in checks over the media-driven controversy is false.
“Stimulus checks for $1,200 are being mailed out to many Americans, some already got them through direct deposit, but they’re being mailed to help Americans through this crisis,” Tapper said to Mnuchin on April 19.
“For the first time, ever, President Trump’s name is going to appear on an IRS check, which is being put in the memo line because the president isn’t authorized to sign the checks. Did the president personally suggest this idea?” the host asked.
Mnuchin corrected Tapper and said he would like to see more people sign up to receive stimulus checks via direct deposit.
“Well, let me just correct you and say the checks have not gone out yet, and the reason why the checks have not gone out, is we’re hoping that more people, as I said, will go to IRS.gov. It’s much safer to send out direct deposits,” the treasury secretary responded.
“As it relates to the president’s name on it, the president could have been authorized to sign the checks. That would have slowed things down,” he said.
“We didn’t want to do that. We did put the president’s name on the check. That was my idea. He is the president and I think it’s a terrific symbol to the American public,” Mnuchin concluded.