President Flopsweat WANT STIMMY NOW!
You might recall that on Tuesday, Donald Trump declared there would be no more talks on an economic stimulus package until "immediately after I win" the election, at which time he would save the coronavirus-ravaged economy with a great new package, possibly harnessing the millions of flying pigs to haul ice from the recently frozen-over Hell. But he somehow didn't figure his announcement would cause a huge drop in the stock market, so since then, Trump has rooted around for something he could call a win.
First, he floated a number of stand-alone stimulus proposals, like maybe a new bailout for airlines and a new round of $1,200 stimmy checks to Americans, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, as she has from the start of the crisis, nothing doing. The whole damn country needs help, so we're not going to do any à la carte deals, because only Family Dinner Special #3 will sustain a hurting America. We can talk about some of the menu choices, but we need a full meal. No way was she about to let Trump fill up on bread sticks. And for godssake, Donald, stop leering at the server, she's not interested, you pig.
By Thursday night, CNN reports, Trump had come around, and was again interested in a comprehensive deal, though it's not yet clear exactly what chief negotiator Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been talking to Pelosi about. Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, said Thursday Mnuchin had told Pelosi that Trump was again looking for a big package, but Pelosi herself also said a different White House official had said that wasn't the case. In other words, typical Trump administration message coordination.
Axios reported yesterday that Tuesday's stock market tumble came as a complete surprise to the Dumbass-in-Chief, who started backtracking almost immediately because the market has to love him, it just HAS TO:
Within a day of tweeting that he was calling off bipartisan talks for a coronavirus stimulus deal, President Trump phoned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and indicated he was worried by the stock market reaction and wanted a "big deal" with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, per two sources familiar with the call.
And where are things now? They're in a definite state of Who The Fuck Knows, but maybe headed toward some kind of compromise. Trump tweeted that negotiations are going great, or maybe he just has gas:
Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1602258520.0
And White House officials told Bloomberg News this morning that Team Trump has settled on a $1.8 trillion stimulus package. That's short of the $2.2 trillion package the House passed recently, but it's closer than the two sides have gotten so far; no word on what's in the White House proposal. Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Fox Business that Mnuchin would discuss the proposal with Pelosi this afternoon; he said the package Trump agreed to "will be relatively broad-based but I can't go through details." It's probably all breadsticks, plus a can of expired clams and blanket lawsuit immunity for businesses that infected employees.
Pelosi confirmed on MSNBC she had set aside time to talk with Mnuchin, but that "The devil and the angels are in the details. [...] So part of it is about money. And part of it is about policy."
As for getting anything through the Senate at this point, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday, "We do agree that another rescue package is needed, [but] we have vast differences about how much we should spend." After Trump said negotiations were kaput until the election, McConnell had told him it was just as well, since many Republican senators might not agree to anything, because they are evil buttholes just like he is.
And so, with unemployment still at historic levels and the coronavirus still killing hundreds of Americans, the Great Game continues. There may be a deal that actually provides some help to Americans between now and (but let's not get overconfident) a possible Biden-Harris administration in a bit over three months. For now, we're not even sure Trump will sit down at the table long enough to order.
God DAMN it, Donald! Stop slapping the sides of the fish tank! We can't take you anywhere.
[CNN / NBC News / Bloomberg / Wonkette photoshoop based on a photo by David Goehring, Creative Commons license 2.0]
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.