President Donald Trump's name is printed in the memo section of ever stimulus check going out right now, but this measure may be banned if future payments are approved. According to a report by Politico, Democrats in the U.S. Senate are proposing new legislation called the No Politics in Pandemic Recovery Act, which would prevent the president from putting his name on checks to the American people, among other things. There is no word yet on how this bill is expected to perform.
The new legislation — called the No PR Act for short — comes from New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader. It reportedly prohibits taxpayer money from being used for any "promotional activity," which includes adding the president's name to relief checks for the American people. The president is not legally authorized to sign checks issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, so many saw the addition of his name to the stimulus check as a purely political move.
"Trump unfortunately appears to see the pandemic as just another opportunity to promote his own political interests," Schumer said in a statement published by 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 president's full name will appear printed in the memo line of every paper stimulus check sent to Americans, with no added explanation — "Donald J. Trump." According to a report by The Washington Post, this was a last minute decision within the Treasury Department, and may have delayed the mailing of these checks by at least a few days. Sources also told the outlet that the idea seemed to have come from Trump himself, though this was later disputed.
"Delaying the release of stimulus checks so his signature could be added is a waste of time and money," Schumer said.
Other lawmakers are looking into this issue as well. Sen. Rony Wyden of Oregon reportedly 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."
Lawmakers are working on more legislation to provide aid during the coronavirus crisis, including some that would include more relief payments directly sent to the American people. One bill in the works would guarantee up to $2,000 per month for at least six months to elligible Americans if it passed the way it is currently written.