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Trump signs bill banning tax dollars for portraits of government officials

Issued: 2018-03-29

Remember Ed Schafer? You should — you paid $30,500 for his hand-painted portrait.

How about Steve Preston? His official government portrait set hardworking Americans back a cool $19,500.

But the days of taxpayers picking up the tab for oil paintings immortalizing government officials, from the memorable to the obscure, are gone.

President Trump has signed a long-languishing bill making permanent a ban on the use of government funds to pay for oil portraits of the president, vice president, Cabinet members and lawmakers. The portraits often cost $20,000 to $40,000, even when their historical significance is close to nil.

The measure was first introduced in Congress in 2013 after reports that federal agencies spent more than $400,000 on portraits displayed in government buildings, often in secure locations not open to the public that paid for them. – READ MORE

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