For some time, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been negotiating with Congressional Democrats to develop a stimulus package in response to the economic upheaval wrought by attempts to stem the spread of the Coronavirus. Late Monday night, Trump weighed in, and his angry Twitter outburst may have delayed the plan’s passage, POLITICO explains. As the outlet notes, “anything short of a full embrace from the president is not enough for Republicans,” and Republicans, as the majority in the Senate, have to be on board with the stimulus package for it to pass.
Trump’s angry Monday night tweet, which he posted at 11:33 p.m. Eastern time, read:
‘Republicans had a deal until Nancy Pelosi rode into town from her extended vacation. The Democrats want the Virus to win? They are asking for things that have nothing to do with our great workers or companies. They want Open Borders & Green New Deal. Republicans shouldn’t agree!’
Republicans had a deal until Nancy Pelosi rode into town from her extended vacation. The Democrats want the Virus to win? They are asking for things that have nothing to do with our great workers or companies. They want Open Borders & Green New Deal. Republicans shouldn’t agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2020
The post, of course, was full of lies — nowhere in any version of the stimulus package, let alone one with Mnuchin’s involvement, were there any provisions for open borders or the Green New Deal. His claims simply aren’t true — but ignorance did not stop Trump from broadcasting opposition to the bill anyway. And now, the opposition could add days onto the stimulus package’s timetable, because the House is planning to pass the legislation after the Senate, and they’re hoping to do that via unanimous consent, which would not require members to all head back to D.C. from their districts. But just one Republican voicing opposition would be enough to derail that plan and add who knows how long onto the process.
The Senate similarly would need unanimous consent to hold a procedural vote to advance the stimulus package before Wednesday, but with Trump’s opposition piling up, ignorance and all, they may not be able to do that. Procedural votes first took place in the Senate this past weekend, and they failed, and the bill did not advance.
If Trump is going to send everybody back to work in the middle of a pandemic, then why does he need a $2 trillion bailout bill? Is it still a war, or no big deal?
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) March 24, 2020
Despite Trump’s claims otherwise, Democrats have been working to strike a comprehensive deal. Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that he thought one could emerge the following day. As he put it:
‘They all wanted to try to get done tomorrow. I think the American people want it done as quickly as possible. I’m pleased that our two main issues, workers first and a Marshall Plan for hospitals, are very strongly in the bill.’
And on Tuesday, Pelosi commented:
‘Everyone appreciates the gravity of the situation… the need, timing is everything. But again, this is a multifaceted approach that we have to take with all of this, and addressing the needs of the workers — it’s desperate.’
In stark contrast, Trump has begun clamoring for the economy to reopen, but if people intermingle because of that reopening, Coronavirus infection and death rates could spike significantly across the country. With strict controls in place, almost 600 Americans have already died from the Coronavirus, and more than 46,000 people around the country have been infected.