[guest post by Dana]
Bloomberg is reporting:
The $2 trillion stimulus plan agreed to by White House and Senate leaders would ban any company controlled by President Donald Trump or his children from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs.
According to a summary circulated by the office of Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, businesses owned by the president, vice president, members of Congress or heads of executive departments would be excluded from receiving that aid. The block also would also extend to companies controlled by their children, spouses or in-laws.
Trump broke with the practice of previous presidents who either divested assets that could cause conflicts of interest or put those assets in blind trusts. Instead, Trump transferred his assets to a revocable trust administered by his elder son, Donald Trump Jr., and Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization. Several Trump-branded properties have been affected by the virus-induced demand crash, as well as state and local restrictions on going out in public.
The Senate is expected to vote later today on the measure.
On a sidenote, this was Trump on Monday, answering questions about a draft of the bill, and what sort of oversight there would be to ensure a fair and responsible distribution of the $500 billion corporate slush fund:
…how the Republican stimulus bill would responsibly distribute a $500 billion corporate slush fund that currently allows for the Treasury Secretary to withhold the names of the businesses that receive bailout cash.
…Answering the question of who would provide accountability for the unrestricted distribution of half-a-trillion dollars, Trump’s response was even less promising: “I’ll be the oversight. I’ll be the oversight.”
Of course, if Trump were indeed the “oversight,” there would have been serious ethical concerns:
One obvious outcome of this financing arrangement would be to create the all-but-certain outcome that the Treasury would select the Trump Organization as one of the worthy recipients of its largesse. Trump’s vacation properties have indeed been forced to shut down, and while an unbiased manager might not select the Trump Organization over needier coronavirus victims, Trump himself probably thinks differently. Indeed, at his press conference, the president did not even bring himself to deny that he might. “Let’s just see what happens,” he replied, as if the outcome might contain any mystery … The entire concept that the federal government ought to operate independent of the president’s political whims is inherently foreign to Trump.