Election 2020 Politics

Stimulus bill prevents Trump and his family from benefiting from loan programs

During a television interview Wednesday morning, Schumer stressed that the provision applies not only to Trump but to “any major figure in government.”

“That makes sense. Those of us who write the law shouldn’t benefit from the law,” Schumer said on CNN.

The Senate plans to vote later Wednesday on the massive package, which aims to flood the economy with capital by sending $1,200 checks to many Americans, creating a $367 billion loan program for small businesses and setting up a $500 billion fund for industries, cities and states. The House is expected to act in coming days.

Trump’s dual roles as both chief executive of the nation and owner of a sprawling business empire has been frequently criticized by Democrats, who accuse him of trying to profit from the presidency.

Representatives of the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.

The Washington Post reported this week that Trump’s private business has shut down six of its top seven revenue-producing clubs and hotels because of restrictions meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, potentially depriving his company of millions of dollars in revenue.

So far, the Trump Organization — which is now guided by his two eldest sons — has closed hotels in Las Vegas; Doral, Fla.; Ireland; and Turnberry, Scotland, as well as the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida and a golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Many of the clubs closed because they had to, under local orders. Others closed on their own, following strong guidance or recommendations from local officials.

The six clubs and hotels combined have brought in about $174 million per year, according to Trump’s most recent financial disclosures. That works out to $478,000 per day — revenue that is likely to be sharply reduced with the clubs shuttered. The disclosures provide self-reported revenue figures but not profits.

The provision to ban Trump and other officials 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,” Schumer’s office said in an email to reporters early Wednesday touting the provision. “The children, spouses and in-laws of the aforementioned principals are also included in this prohibition.”

The Trump Organization had not indicated as of earlier this week whether it would seek bailout funds from the stimulus bill.

On Sunday, Trump was asked whether his business would abstain from any federal bailout. He did not give a clear answer.

“Everything’s changing, just so you understand; it’s all changing,” he said. “But I have no idea.”

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