Trump Blows Up The Stimmy, Maybe
Hey, remember how a lot of dips on Twitter were mad at Nancy Pelosi for not taking Mnuchin's "deal" that was never really a deal, and that Mitch McConnell never actually agreed to? And now, Mitch is finally on board because the utter lack of help during the pandemic was terrible for the GOP candidates in Georgia? Now, here comes Captain Chaos on his ghostrider steed!
Donald Trump took to the Twitters yesterday to proclaim that Monday's coronavirus stimulus bill was not to his liking, because it contained too many things he didn't think had anything to do with the coronavirus pandemic, and he didn't think the $600 per person direct payments were nearly enough. We actually agree on the latter — more money in people's pockets is desperately needed. But in his long rant against the bill, he kept listing items that actually weren't part of the stimulus, because they were actually part of the $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill that's supposed to keep the government running for the rest of the fiscal year, until Sept. 30, 2021. The $900 billion stimulus bill was attached to that.
Dude, you're the "president" of the United States. People could explain that to you before you go on TV and lie about shit.
Trump didn't actually use the word "veto," but he did order Congress to increase the individual payments to $2000 per person (he didn't say whether he meant just adults, or kids, too), and insisted that all the stuff unrelated to the pandemic be taken out, and then maybe he'll sign it. Or who knows, maybe he won't sign anything unless it declares he won the election.
Here's old shithead, so you can see him lying:
https://t.co/v9Rdjz6DNu— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1608682531.0
What a fucking idiot. He saved the absolute stupidest bit for the end:
I'm also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package. And maybe that administration will be me.
Sure. And monkeys might fly out of your butt.
Trump started right out with a lie, claiming that Democrats were to blame for the fact that there hasn't been a stimulus package since the CARES Act passed in late March. In mere reality, House Democrats passed a new stimmy, the HEROES Act, back in May, with a second, smaller version following in September. Neither was even considered in the Senate, because Republicans were sure the economy was about to come roaring right back as soon as all the businesses reopened.
Also, Trump was VERY ANGRY that "The bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is very different from" a simple stimulus bill, and that, he said, "really is a disgrace." Again, that's because the bill passed Monday night included the stimulus in the omnibus spending bill that covers all of the government for the next nine and some months. This is like complaining that your side of fries was terrible because they came with a well-done steak, a Diet Coke, and two scoops of ice cream when everyone else at the table gets only one, and you like it that way.
Does Trump actually know that virtually everything he complained about — foreign aid, funding for the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center, and various conservation programs (hurr hurr, why are we spending stimulus money on fish?) — aren't actually part of the stimulus? After four years of this guy, that hardly matters. He sees stuff he can complain is "wasteful," and then his fans are outraged, and that's all that matters. If last night's snit actually does result in Trump's not signing the bill (far from a guarantee), we suppose Congress could simply pass both the omnibus and the stimulus as separate bills so they can go home. Surely everyone will consider that a week or three well spent, especially folks who end up getting evicted because of the delay.
Once he finally did get to something that's in the bill, Trump immediately lied again, so let us Truth Sandwich that one. The new stimmy fixes a problem with the individual payments in the CARES Act, which denied stimulus checks to spouses and dependents of people who don't file their taxes with a Social Security number (so undocumented immigrants mostly, but not exclusively), even if the other family members are US citizens or permanent residents. In the new stimmy, eligible family members of those without SSNs will be eligible for the $600 payment, and can also apply retroactively for the CARES Act payment they should have gotten back in April, so that would be $1200 for an adult, $500 for a child — to be delivered as a tax rebate. And no, undocumented immigrants have never qualified at all for the federal stimmy (though they damn well should).
Whew! So that's what Trump was lying about when he said that "family members of illegal aliens" will "get up to $1,800 each. This is far more than the Americans are given." It's some impressive bullshit, because while the numbers for an adult (for two separate stimmy payments) do total $1,800, that's precisely the total every other American adult will get, but several months apart. It's outrageous to anyone who hasn't figured out object permanence yet.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for her part, was happy to reply to Trump's tantrum by pointing out he'd been AWOL throughout the negotiations, and offering to pass a $2,000 payment amendment by unanimous consent NOW:
Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President ha… https://t.co/M73NZA2G7f— Nancy Pelosi (@Nancy Pelosi) 1608687216.0
Mind you, all it would take would be for a single Republican to object, and that would be the end of that. But it's a far more realistic proposal than "Let's not fund the Smithsonian and eliminate foreign aid for a full year."
The Washington Postreports that Trump actually recorded his little rant about five hours before it went up on Twitter, and that its existence was kept hidden from most White House aides by Chief of Staff Mark Meadows — who had to know the stimulus and the omnibus spending provisions were in different parts of the package — until shortly before the thing went up. The Post adds,
[Trump] released the video Tuesday after a number of his aides, including Meadows, were already out of town.
"So dumb," one administration official said. "So, so dumb."
So this should make the process of getting help to Americans hurt by the economic fallout of the pandemic a lot more complicated, unless Trump can be persuaded to just sign the damn thing and insist he won.
This should also make the run-up to the Georgia runoffs (a doo-run-run-run, a doo-run-run) interesting, to say the least. As we noted up top, Mitch McConnell largely let a new stimmy pass so Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue would be able to point at it, however small and pathetic, and proclaim "And I helped!" So will they now say, "Yes, we are on board with Our President and we want a bigger payment," and then actually vote that way? If Trump relents and signs the $600 stimmy, do they then look terrible for not fighting for the higher payment? And if all the chaos results in no bill at all — and maybe a government shutdown if the spending bill also falls — can they possibly get away with blaming Democrats?
The one thing you should probably not expect? A $2,000 stimulus check with Donald Trump's name on it. Somehow, we can't help but think that's all Obama's fault.
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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.