• Nathan Max

Chaos President Sowing Stimulus Chaos


Photo Credit: USA Today. Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he wanted more stimulus money.

Donald Trump is right about one thing: $600 payments are woefully inadequate.


Whatever his motivations, Trump's call to deliver $2,000 relief checks is the right thing to do. Of course, after four years of placating the president, and rolling over to excuse his most erratic and abhorrent behavior, Republicans have finally found their bridge too far.


Money for poor people.


Is anyone surprised?


Seven months after the Democratic-run House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act, the Republican-run Senate finally cooperated enough to pass some relief for Americans. It isn’t much, but at least it’s something. Crucially, the bill includes an 11-week extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that expires today, with a $300 per week federal enhancement.


That recurring payment, for many, could be the difference between just getting by and financial ruin. Millions of Americans, who desperately need that money, won’t be getting it unless Trump either signs the existing bill or Congress delivers something new to him with a quickness.


Donald Trump’s 11th-hour Twitter intervention, after he blew off negotiations for months, has nothing to do with struggling Americans. It has everything to do with spite. We know our president well enough by now to understand he doesn’t care about people who are down on their luck. To him, they are losers. He only cares about himself.


Since Republicans are finally coming around to the reality that Trump has lost, and they are no longer playing his silly election-was-stolen game, he wants to sabotage them. In so doing, he is calling for something that Republicans oppose, but we all desperately need: more money. At the same time, he is creating the possibility that we don’t get anything at all. In other words, the collateral damage in Trump’s new war will be us.


Trump has three options. He can either sign the bill and deliver what Democrats are describing as, “a down payment,” on relief. He can veto it, which would give Congress the chance to override. Or, if he really wants to screw us -- and when has a vindictive Trump not screwed over the people who he believes have wronged him -- he could execute what’s called a pocket veto.


Normally, when the president refuses to sign a bill 10 days after it hits his desk, it becomes law. However, in this particular instance, 10 days expires 24 hours after the new Congress is sworn in. Once that happens, the existing bill will become null and void, and the new Congress would have to start over. In the meantime, millions of Americans won’t be getting anything, as other protections in the new relief package also expire.


Aside from financial considerations, the new relief package extends an eviction moratorium by a month, until Jan. 31, which would save countless people from being thrown into the streets. Money is also allocated for rent relief and small businesses.


None of this happens if Trump doesn’t sign the bill, or Republicans don’t go along with the president’s latest demands. Of course, Trump suddenly has more demands that have nothing to do with the COVID-19 stimulus package.


The president doesn’t seem to understand the difference between the $892 billion relief bill and the $1.4 trillion omnibus package, and he is conflating the two into one. So, honestly, even if Republicans relented on the $2,000 payments, who knows if that will be enough to satisfy the flamethrower-in-chief.


Don’t be fooled by Donald Trump’s newfound generosity. The president has had seven months to advocate for these kinds of payments, and he hasn’t done it. The man, it seems, just wants to punish us for not reelecting him.


It’s the chaos president in his element.

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