Says payments violate Constitution’s anti-corruption provision
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, today introduced amendments to the annual Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (H.R. 6147) to prohibit the federal government from spending money at businesses owned by President Trump. The Congressman contends such spending violates a Constitutional anti-corruption provision that prohibit any President from receiving funding from the federal government beyond his salary.
Congressman Cohen has attempted to prohibit spending by various agencies and departments of the federal government this year and last year, most recently in last month’s Department of Defense spending bill. The House Majority has repeatedly prevented his measures from getting floor votes.
“As a member of Congress, it’s my duty to protect and defend the Constitution, and that’s what I’m trying to do by preventing further violations of the charter’s Emoluments Clauses. The Clauses explicitly prohibit the kind of private profiteering this President has been engaged in since taking office without placing his business interests in a blind trust, or divesting, as his predecessors have done. Congress has an obligation to prevent these clear violations. I intend to attempt to amend every annual spending bill with this prohibition.”
Congressman Cohen has authored Articles of Impeachment (H. Res. 621) against Trump which cite his violations of the Constitutional prohibitions on receiving certain payments – known as emoluments – among its provisions.