President Trump put his foot down in Washington DC earlier this week, and the city hasn’t stopped feeling the tremors of that stomp.
Trump’s main gripe this week has to do with the COVID-19 relief bill being passed through Congress, and it’s lopsided stimulus. Almost $800 billion of the $908 billion legislation was going to either foreign entities or special-interest groups here in the States. Americans were to receive only one $600 direct payment and enhanced unemployment benefits. On Tuesday, the President demanded that those payments be increased to $2,000 – something that much of Congress agreed with.
But now, as the President looks to celebrate Christmas in sunny Florida, there’s a confused gloom in the nation’s capital.
On Tuesday night, Trump blindsided all of Washington — including his own staff — with a series of eleventh-hour demands to amend coronavirus relief and government funding legislation that his own administration had helped carefully craft and supported. Overnight and into Wednesday, senior Republicans, Hill aides and even White House officials scrambled to figure out what Trump actually wanted, just as lawmakers — and Trump — prepare to leave town for the holidays.
There’s no clear answer, though. No one on either side of Pennsylvania Avenue appears to know what Trump’s plan is — or even if there is one. House Republicans held a brief conference call Wednesday afternoon, where they received little clarity on the situation. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Republicans he spoke to Trump, but that the president hasn’t committed to anything yet, according to two people on the call.
The White House, meanwhile, did not respond to questions about the legislation.
And, to put it bluntly…
“Complete clusterf—,” summarized one top Republican Hill aide.
To make matters worse, there were rumors just weeks ago that the President may not return to Washington after Christmas, on account of his ongoing legal battle regarding the 2020 election.
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