On Wednesday, President Donald Trump freaked out on Republicans who are opposing the inclusion of $1.75 billion for a new FBI building in the next Coronavirus-connected economic relief package. The building has zero relationship to recovering from the Coronavirus, but some observers, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are concerned that the funding was included as a personal business boost for the president. After all, the FBI headquarters is in the vicinity of Trump’s D.C. hotel, and if the agency is kept at the spot, then a hotel that could compete with Trump’s wouldn’t have the chance to go up. Republicans as high-ranking as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have come out against including the FBI money in the Coronavirus relief package.
Confronted by reporters about Republican opposition to including the FBI building money — which was put in the legislation at the direct request of the White House — Trump complained:
‘Then Republicans should go back to school and learn. You need a new building… I would make sure we built a great building at a fraction of the cost.’
Trump on Republicans resistance to putting $$ for a new FBI building in the next coronavirus relief package via @ZekeJMiller: "Then Republicans should go back to school and learn. You need a new building… I would make sure we built a great building at a fraction of the cost."
— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) July 29, 2020
The presidency is not a construction project! Donald isn’t the only one who acts otherwise — recently, as the U.S. continued to struggle through the Coronavirus pandemic and related crises, First Lady Melania Trump announced that she would be… leading a renovation of the Rose Garden. Talk about a detachment from the concerns of everyday Americans.
With Nearly 150,000 dead from coronavirus, 18 Million unemployed, and unemployment benefits ending, Melania will revamp the Rose Garden as her husband does nothing to alleviate the pain and suffering. 🤬 https://t.co/AuCZnIwtQy
— Robert Cooper 🌊 (@RobertCooper58) July 27, 2020
During an appearance on CBS This Morning on Wednesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed that the FBI building money would not be a “deal breaker” for the president, suggesting that he wasn’t committed to the idea enough to veto the relief legislation if it came to his desk without the money included. Trump’s Wednesday comments make McEnany’s take seem potentially a little less than certain — and it wouldn’t be the first time that the president has recently threatened to hold up major legislation because of a petty political grievance. Trump has also threatened to veto the defense spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year if a provision to remove Confederate names from Army bases is included.
NEW: @PressSec tells @CBSThisMorning President Trump's push for a $1.8 billion rebuilding of FBI headquarters in downtown Washington is "not a deal breaker" in coronavirus relief legislation negotiations.
— Nicole Sganga (@NicoleSganga) July 29, 2020