Trump, Democrats on same page in demand for $2000 stimulus check – Times of India

WASHINGTON: American politics has become even more bizarre in the final weeks of the Trump administration with the outgoing President and liberal Democrats finding themselves on the same page in agreeing for more stimulus money for the pandemic affected amid a looming government shutdown.
There is chaos in government and congressional circles on Wednesday after Trump unexpectedly threatened to torpedo a spending bill, demanding $2000 per individual in stimulus payment instead of $600 that a bipartisan legislation provides.
Democrats, who had reluctantly agreed to the lower sum in the face of an obdurate and fiscally conservative Republicans, instantly agreed with the President’s stand even as Trump’s flock was thrown into confusion.
“At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, pointing out that Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. Trump had kept out of the legislative bargaining and it was assumed Republicans were acting with his consent or at his behest.
“Let’s do it. @RashidaTlaib and I already co-wrote the COVID amendment for $2,000 checks, so it’s ready to go. Glad to see the President is willing to support our legislation. We can pass $2k checks this week if Senate GOP agrees to stand down,” echoed progressive lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Small problem – there’s not enough time to re-draft the omnibus $ 2.3 trillion 5593-page spending bill that contains the stimulus package and also prevents a government shutdown. In fact, legislative aides and interested parties are still poring over one of the longest bills in history and discovering all sorts of items tucked into it, including a provision that would nullify President Trump’s power to invoke the Insurrection Act.
Trump himself released a video objecting to various spending provisions, including foreign aid items, and money allotted to what many conservatives see as liberal priorities, including $1 billion for the Smithsonian and funds for the National Gallery of Art, noting the facilities are “essentially not open.”
The outgoing President warned that unless Congress sent him “a suitable bill” it would be up to “the next administration” to do so, adding, “maybe that administration will be me.”
Compounding the confusion over the spending bill, Trump is still refusing to concede the election and plans to challenge the verdict in the last stage of the process — when a joint session of Congress meets on January 6 to count votes of the Electoral College sent by the states and formally declare the new President elected.
States have already certified their electoral votes and Biden has emerged a clear winner 306-232, but some Trump loyalist lawmakers plan to object, falsely claiming that courts refuse to hear the President’s legal case. Trump has lost over 50 cases in courts.
But well before that final act in the drama, Washington will have to shut down if the spending bill is not passed by December 28 to fund the government. Trump’s stand on parcelling out a bigger stimulus package is also threatening to sunder the Republican Party, including throwing many fiscally conservative lawmakers who otherwise support him under the bus. Everything points to a chaotic year-ending amid calls from some Trump loyalists urging him to declare martial law to reverse the election verdict.
While many lawmakers are bending to Trump’s will for fear of getting “primaried” (defeated in inner-party elections) — a threat the defeated President is making quite openly — a few are sounding the alarm on that they see as fiscal profligacy even as others are urging him not to entertain crackpot ideas like subverting election process and results validated by the states and courts.
“To so-called conservatives who are quick to identify the socialism of Democrats: If you vote for this spending monstrosity, you are no better,” Senator Rand Paul warned, adding, “If free money was the answer, if money really did grow on trees, why not give more free money? Why not give it out all the time? Why stop at $600 a person? Why not $20,000 a year for everybody, why not $30,000? If we can print out money with impunity, why not do it?”
“When you vote to pass out free money, you lose your soul and you abandon forever any semblance of moral or fiscal integrity,” he said

Source link

About news

Check Also

US murder suspect ‘cooked’ victim’s heart: Report – Times of India

WASHINGTON: A man accused of a triple murder in the US state of Oklahoma sliced …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *