The Democrats are acting like a dysfunctional lot to be sure but their latest political stunt is a real head-scratcher. Congress and President Trump’s team are undergoing intensive negotiations to avoid some fast looming government spending deadlines.
Congress is working on summer hours, not that they do anything anyway, so any delay to the negotiations could lead to another government shutdown.
If the talks stall and the government shuts down, this one will be all on Nancy Pelosi because President Trump will never, nor should he agree, to this sneak attack.
The Hill reported that the Dems are trying to use the power of the purse to legally prevent President Donald Trump from profiting from the federal government spending money at his businesses.
House Democrats have brought to the floor two annual spending bills to keep the government funded past September include provisions that would prohibit certain federal agencies from entering into contracts with or using taxpayer dollars at Trump businesses, including his hotels, golf courses and condominiums across the globe.
But the effort faces opposition from Republicans who dismiss it as a “partisan stunt” that could jeopardize President Trump’s security. That will likely make it difficult for the bills to become law in negotiations with the GOP-controlled Senate.
Nonetheless, the authors of the proposal, Reps. Steve Cohen and Jamie Raskin, are submitting it as an amendment to every annual spending bill hitting the House floor.
“The fact is when we stay at his hotels and his properties, he makes money. Nobody is supposed to make money from the presidency, directly or indirectly, and they are supposed to report these possibilities to the Congress so we have knowledge,” Cohen said during a House floor debate.
The Hill requested comments from the White House on the subject, but they didn’t reply.
The House passed a spending package this week that would ban the State Department from spending money at Trump businesses. Cohen and Raskin’s amendment was adopted largely along party lines, 231-187, as part of a group of amendments en bloc.
During the floor debate on another spending package this week, the House adopted a similar amendment from Cohen and Raskin that applies to the Justice and Commerce departments by voice vote.
The President retains ownership of his businesses but has handed off day-to-day operations to his two sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.
A recent report by The Washington Post showed that President Trump’s trips to his properties since taking office have brought his private businesses at least $1.6 million in revenue from the federal government and GOP campaigns.
But the amount is likely higher given that government spending records date to just the first half of 2017. President Trump, for example, frequently travels to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.