While I was on the Hill asking Republicans how they went from the party of “family values” and “character matters” to the party supporting Acosta, the “I moved on her like a bitch” President, and a First Lady whose resume includes a lesbian porn shoot…
I decided to follow up on a question I asked my own Representative — Don Beyer — at his recent townhall:
Why, I asked, were House Dems spending so much time on bills that will never see the light of day in the Senate? The House passes these bills, but no newspaper I’ve read reports on the passage. It’s not on the 6 o’clock news… After handing Dems the House, the American people aren’t seeing any results. Instead, I suggested, the Democrats should be using the power they do have — the power of the purse. And one thing they can do right now is stop funding Donald Trump’s golf trips. Aside from the national security threats, as a candidate (criticizing Obama for golfing too much) Trump said he’d never have time to golf as President. Instead he’s golfed more than any other President — at his own resort — on the taxpayer dime. So domestic emoluments are a concern too.
Well, I started asking that question on the Hill. And to a person, Democrats were supportive. Jackie Speier, Ro Khanna, AOC, Ted Lieu, John Garamendi, Maxine Waters, Gerry Connolly, Tim Ryan, and Dean Phillips each offered varying degrees of support, but the issue was a little complicated. Garamendi, for example, said that there was an amendment offered to an appropriation but it was ruled out of order because laws can’t be made through appropriations — their job is merely to pass the budgets to support laws passed out of other committees. Ted Lieu has his own bill which would require the President to repay any federal dollars spent at his properties. AOC seemed to like the idea, but I think she’s got bigger fish to fry these days.
But then I spoke to leadership. Hakeem Jeffries is the Democratic Caucus Chair. This is what he told me:
Stark: Mike Stark…
Jeffries: How are you? Where are you from?
Stark: Democratic video blogger, but on the very progressive side. I’m wondering why we’re still paying for Donald Trump’s golfing? Why haven’t we, at the end of every appropriation, put in a rider that says “None of this money shall be spent at any property owned by Donald Trump?”
Jeffries: It’s a reasonable question, and I believe in fact there was a rider to that effect.
Stark: So what happened?
Jeffries: I think that it has made its way into an appropriations bill or subsequently will make its way into an appropriations bill connected to the Department of Homeland Security because we didn’t do it… The Department of Homeland Security, of course, has jurisdiction over the Secret Service — the Secret Service is the entity to which there are… We have done that in other instances with respect to Wilbur Ross and KellyAnn Conway, so I think it’s a reasonable thing to expect that a rider along those lines is forthcoming.