Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. | Andrew Harnik, File/AP Photo
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to push for a provision in the next coronavirus package that would stop President Donald Trump from putting his name on any additional stimulus checks.
The so-called “No PR Act” would prohibit the use of federal dollars toward any material that promotes the names or signatures 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 New York Democrat said in a statement. “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’s proposal comes after the Treasury Department ordered that Trump’s name appear on millions of stimulus checks sent out by the IRS following the passage of a $2 trillion rescue package in March. Critics said the signature seemed designed to make it appear as if the money was due solely to the beneficence of the president.
“Delaying the release of stimulus checks so his signature could be added is a waste of time and money,” Schumer added.
The Senate minority leader’s plan is part of a broader Democratic effort to conduct oversight over the Trump administration amid the pandemic. March’s economic rescue package included the creation of a commission to oversee the administration’s handling of a $500 billion fund for distressed industries.
But the status of the next coronavirus spending package remains uncertain. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told her caucus last week that a “CARES 2 ” package is nearly done, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is warning that the Senate will move “cautiously” on the next phase of relief.
The Senate is scheduled to return to Washington on May 4.
Last week, Congress passed a $484 billion coronavirus aid bill, providing $380 billion to small businesses, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for testing.