News & Politics

Trump Changes His Mind: Now Wants Pandemic Relief Before Election

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Donald Trump is now pushing for a scaled-down pandemic relief bill before Congress adjourns for the election. Earlier yesterday, Trump had given up on the negotiations that had been underway between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

But by early evening, Trump had changed his tune, indicating he wants a specific bill that includes relief for the airline industry and a $1200 individual stimulus check for taxpayers.

Trump certainly wasn’t reacting to anything that Pelosi or any other Democrat said, but he may have had second thoughts after talking to his political team. Hundreds of thousands of airline workers are being furloughed. This close to the election, that isn’t a good thing.

And while the recovery is proceeding, job growth is slowing down and that $1200 check would come in handy for a lot of taxpayers.

ABC News:

“Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress. Walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus, as is required by the Heroes Act. He shows his contempt for science, his disdain for our heroes – in health care, first responders, sanitation, transportation, food workers, teachers, teachers, teachers and others – and he refuses to put money in workers’ pockets, unless his name is printed on the check,” Pelosi said.

An act of Congress requires Trump to “crush” the virus? I don’t believe I read that anywhere in the bill.

And Pelosi has come up with a novel way to govern. Even if we spend too much, it won’t go to waste.

“Clearly, the White House is in complete disarray. Sadly, they are rejecting the urgent warnings of Fed Chairman Powell today, that ‘Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy and holding back wage growth. By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller. Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste,” she said.

No wonder we’re running a $3 trillion budget deficit.

In truth, the sticking point has always been aid to state governments whose budgets were hard hit by the lockdowns. Some Republican governors have bitten the bullet and made huge cuts in their budgets.

But Democratic governors have failed to even try to close their budget holes with cuts in spending. They know a bailout is coming, and while the money is on the way, they’re planning to cover a host of sins committed by them and their Democratic predecessors with that cash.

The state aid has been a red line for Trump and the Republicans since the beginning.

The Hill:

The president singled out one area of the talks where both sides have remained far apart for weeks: help for state and local governments. Pelosi is seeking more than $430 billion for those localities, while Republicans have rejected that figure as far too high, wary that Democrats simply want to rescue blue states facing budget crunches as the result of policy decisions made before the pandemic started.

The idea of an incremental approach to pandemic aid is not a bad one. Congress is likely to spend a lot less money if the relief arrives in several different legislative vehicles and one big omnibus package that individual members will be able to sneak all sorts of goodies for their constituents into.

Pelosi is not about to give Trump a win this close to the election. But at least it puts the onus on her for rejecting it.

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