Signed letters from Donald Trump accompany federal bailout payments being sent to tens of millions of Americans, it emerged Monday.
The letters use key messages from the president’s coronavirus briefings, and echo his ‘make America great again’ campaign slogan, saying: ‘American will triumph again – and rise to new heights of greatness.’
The letters emerged as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he plans to pursue legislation that would prevent federal dollars from going toward the president putting his name on a future round of stimulus checks.
Schumer told Politico that the bill would be called the ‘No PR Act,’ which would prohibit money to go toward materials that promote the names or signatures of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
‘President Trump unfortunately appears to see the pandemic as just another opportunity to promote his own political interests,’ Schumer said in a statement to Politico. ‘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.’
Letter from the president: This is the message received by a family in New Hampshire
Branding: The letters are being sent to every household. They contain language close to Trump’s cmapaign – promising ‘new heights of greatness,’ close to ‘make America great again’
The president’s name is on the first round of stimulus checks that went out to American taxpayers.
Some Americans also reported receiving a letter explaining the benefits they’d receive signed by Trump.
CNN reported Sunday that the network’s reporters had spoken to recipients in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland who received the president’s letter.
The production of the letter and the postage was paid for by the Internal Revenue Service, CNN said.
In mid-April, the Washington Post first reported that Trump’s name would be on the stimulus checks.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to pass a bill called the ‘No PR Act,’ which would prohibit taxpayer dollars going toward the president or vice president putting their names or signatures on materials
Schumer’s plan was in response to Trump’s name being added to the economic impact checks, which the New York Democrats said delayed the payments
President Trump said he didn’t know how his name on the checks came to be, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later taking responsibility, despite The Washington Post reporting that Trump promoted the idea to Mnuchin
It marked a departure from norms, in which a civil servant from the Treasury Department would usually sign the checks in order for payments to remain non-partisan.
Officials the newspaper talked to were in dispute on whether adding Trump’s name to the checks would delay the payments.
Schumer sided with the officials who said adding Trump’s name slowed down the payments.
‘Delaying the release of stimulus checks so his signature could be added is a waste of time and money,’ Schumer said.
When asked about his name being added to the checks at a press briefing, Trump shrugged off the story.
‘Well, I don’t know too much about it, but I understand my name is there. I don’t know where they’re going, how they’re going,’ he told reporters. ‘I do understand it’s not delaying anything. And I’m satisfied. I don’t imagine it’s a big deal. I’m sure people will be very happy to get a big fat beautiful check and my name is on it,’ Trump said.
Later, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said it was his idea to put Trump’s name on the payouts.
‘We did put the president’s name on the check. That was my idea. He is the president and I think it’s a terrific symbol to the American public,’ Mnuchin said last week on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’
The Post, however, reported that Trump had suggested to Mnuchin that his name appear on the checks, according to three administration officials.