Congressional Democrats introduced legislation Friday afternoon that would block President Trump from using federal funding for next year’s G-7 summit after he announced on Thursday that it would be held at Trump National Doral Miami, a Trump Organization golf resort.
The proposed legislation, known as Trump’s Heist Undermines the G-7 (THUG) Act, was introduced by Florida Representative Lois Frankel, Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, and Representative Steve Cohen.
A companion bill is being introduced in the Senate by Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.).
“Mr. Trump is unashamed of his corruption,” Frankel said in a statement. “He is abusing the office of the Presidency and violating law by directing millions of dollars of American and foreign money to his family enterprises by holding an important meeting of world leaders at his Doral resort.”
“His contempt for the Constitution and American people seems boundless in profiting from his office through payments from foreign governments,” Blumenthal added. “Our Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves. Congress must act to stop this plain craven abuse of power and corruption.”
“The prospect that the Trump administration would set aside the Constitution to line the president’s pockets by choosing to host the upcoming G7 Conference to prop up one the president’s failing properties is enormously troubling,” Thompson said in a statement.
The legislation would also require Trump to provide Congress with any documents related to his decision to host the event at his property.
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters Thursday that the Trump resort near Miami will host the annual summit of world leaders June 10-12.
Mulvaney said the Doral property was one of 12 that was under consideration and that it was ultimately chosen in part because of its proximity to airports, landing zones and hospitals.
The chief of staff dismissed criticism that the property’s selection violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits presidents from accepting payments from foreign countries, U.S. states or the federal government.
“I get the criticisms. So does [Trump]… but no, there’s no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form,” Mulvaney said. “If you think it’s going to help his brand, that’s great, but I would suggest that he doesn’t need much help promoting his brand.”
“Is the president going to profit from this? I think the president has pretty much made it very clear since he’s got here that he doesn’t profit from being here. He has no interest in profit from being here,” he added. “It’s one of the reasons that he’s not taken a salary since he’s been here. He’s given that salary to charity. Will not be profiting here.”
Mulvaney claimed that “Doral was, by far and away — far and away — the best physical facility for this meeting.”
“In fact, I was talking to one of the advance teams when they came back, and I said, ‘What was it like?’ And they said, ‘Mick, you’re not going to believe this, but it’s almost like they built this facility to host this type of event,’” he added.