March 26, 2020
The $2 trillion stimulus bill that the White House and Senate leaders were expected to sign off on this Wednesday prohibits either Congressional lawmakers or President Donald Trump’s family business from benefiting from loans or investments through its corporate liquidity program, The Hill reports.
“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 Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said in a CNN interview. “Those of us who write the law shouldn’t benefit from the law.”
Trump acknowledged on March 21 that the coronavirus pandemic is hurting his family business, The Hill said. 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 stimulus 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.”
However, before the 2016 election, Trump had promised that his children, Don Jr. and Eric, would run the Trump Organization and that he would keep his distance from the company. However, that has not happened.
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.”
Research contact: @thehill