UPDATE: Far-left New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York — House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader, respectively — in agreeing to President Donald Trump’s call for $2,000-per-American payments in the economic stimulus.
“Let’s do it,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday night. “@Rashida Tlaib 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 the Senate GOP agrees to stand down.”
Not addressed, however, was Trump’s plea to eliminate the billions of dollars in pork barrel spending and payments to foreign nations — leaving the status of negotiations unclear as of Wednesday morning.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: President Donald Trump demanded that Congress revise the recently approved trillion-dollar omnibus stimulus bill due to the insufficient individual payments and reports that the package was laden with pork that offered little to do with economic recovery.
Among those were $10 million on “gender programs” in Pakistan, tens of millions to recruit women into the Afghan army, and considerable funding to build a border wall between Jordan and Syria.
“Congress found plenty of money to send to .. special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it,” Trump said.
Saying the bill was a “disgrace,” Trump said in a late-evening announcement that he wanted at least $2000 per eligible American rather than the “ridiculously low” $600 agreed upon by Congress.
Very few in Congress had the opportunity to actually read the bill, which Sen. Rand Paul described as “monstrous” and “everything Republicans say they don’t believe in.”
After days of backroom negotiations & only a handful of hours to read the 6,000-page legislation, the House passed the omnibus & COVID-19 spending bill tonight.
Congress continues to fail the American people & bankrupt our grandchildren’s future. https://t.co/n73gZJpK9V
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) December 22, 2020
Trump undoubtedly took some delight in throwing a wrench in the works, particularly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., denied the aid prior to the election and pointedly agreed to a deal while saying a new president had changed the circumstances.
Democrat Joe Biden, the presumptive president-in-waiting, had earlier praised the deal, saying he hoped the spirit of bipartisan deal-making would extend into his term.
Trump’s best option would be to ride out the clock using a pocket-veto, although that could potentially trigger a government shutdown due to the 60-some separate bills included as riders in the package—some of which are tied to budget appropriations.
Although Trump could issue a traditional veto of the bill, Congress, which passed the bill with a super-majority, could potentially override it.
Pelosi tweeted her support for the possibility of revising the bill under a unanimous consent agreement, although she has heretofore acted in bad faith on negotiations, including a wish-list of controversial agenda items that effectively acted as poison pills.
Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. 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! https://t.co/Th4sztrpLV
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 23, 2020