Posted by 23 June 2019
Some observers have long been troubled by federal agencies that contract with properties owned by President Trump for things like lodging or food. Now the House of Representatives is taking steps to prevent federal dollars from being spent at Trump property.
By a vote of 231-187, the House of Representatives approved an amendment that included a provision banning the State Department from spending money on services provided at properties owned by the president. House members also approved a similar amendment for the Commerce and Justice Departments by a voice vote. These provisions are attached to the annual legislation that funds federal agencies.
Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Jaime Raskin (D-MD) proposed these amendments as a way to stop federal employees from lodging at Trump hotels, among other actions. They contend that this is a way for the president to profit from his office. They argue that the presidency should not be leveraged for personal gain, and that requiring federal money to be spent at Trump properties is unethical.
Republicans in the House pushed back, saying that such a prohibition could jeopardize security. They note that the federal government must undertake a number of actions at Trump properties when foreign dignitaries or the president is at them, and many of these activities would be impossible under the Cohen and Raskin amendment.
The spending bill that contains this prohibition must still be approved by the Senate. It is unlikely that it will remain in the Senate’s version of the legislation.
Do you think that there should be a ban on federal spending at property owned by President Trump? Is it improper for the federal government to pay for lodging and other services at Trump properties?