Trump is struggling to take a clear stance on the stimulus deal


Trump really wants incentives to be treated as incentives if he can ever establish his position on the matter.
Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

There is an old political thread in which a candidate for Congress is being attacked in the debate for not “siding with the president.” Finally, he replies, “I would be happy to stand with the president if he only stood still.”

This becomes a real problem for those wanting to “side with the president” over the COVID-19 aid and stimulation legislation, the only high point on Washington’s agenda from now through November 3, other than seeking Senate approval by the Supreme Court. When negotiations were underway between his representative Steven Mnuchin and Nancy Pelosi a few days ago, the president first encouraged them from the Walter Reed Hospital, and then he canceled it all on Twitter, next withdrawn when the stocks fell, he demanded tight stimulus deals and now he talks about a big wide deal. Chaos engulfed his staff, as did CNBC recorded:

White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah… on Thursday afternoon expressed doubts about Trump’s willingness to pass legislation. Farah told reporters that the White House wants to tackle stimulus checks, small business loans and “airline rescue”, but not as “part of a larger package”.

After Nancy Pelosi mentioned this claim to Mnuchin, we suddenly received a modification from Farah that assured the president that he was “open to something bigger,” although “we are not going to operate on the $ 2.2 trillion that the speaker unfolded “.

At the same time, according to Washington post officeThere have been talks between “Trump administration officials” and Congressional Republicans about the very kind of “lean stimulus” package that Farah talked about earlier that day and that Democrats have been dismissing for months.

Meanwhile, the president was on Twitter referring Pelosi as “Crazy Nancy” and Pelosi was on TV saying“The president is now, let’s say, in a changed state, so I don’t know how to answer for his behavior.” It was on the same day as Trump called candidate for vice president of Pelosi’s party, “monster” and “communist”. It’s a great atmosphere to negotiate!

But today the president is smarter:

Given all the confusion about the scope of the negotiations, the basic position of the administration and the many voices in favor of and inside the president, the already very difficult and time-consuming process of reaching an agreement, filtering it into legislation and implementing it. it is getting harder and harder in both houses of Congress. Here’s how the Politico Guide summarizing obstacles to success before election day:

Both parties must gather together on the highest number and policies on the bill. … WHEN IT HAPPENS, have to draft a bill. At best, it takes about three days. There are major policy differences and creating designs is always cumbersome. … THEN THEY MUST RELEASE THE ACCOUNT. The bill will have to sit for a day or two. PELOSI it has to take it to the House of Representatives and the Senate Majority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL he has to take it to the Republican Senate. … It will take at least three days for this bill to be passed in the House and a week in the Senate.

SO WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A TWO-WEEK PROCESS wa minimum hand over a contract that is not yet completed. Layer at the approval hearing and voting in the Supreme Court.

No wonder Mitch McConnell commented on this even as news spread that Trump was determined to make a deal:

Speaking in his home state of Kentucky, the Republican told reporters that “the situation is a bit muddy,” while negotiators try to “elbow for political advantage” when Americans vote.

“I would love to see us rise above it like we did in March and April, but I think it is unlikely in the next three weeks,” he said.

McConnell, of course, grapples with the fact that most of his conferences will almost certainly oppose an agreement that Pelosi could accept; many do not want a penny of the new stimulus, much less the $ 1.6 trillion Mnukhin offered before the president blew up earlier talks. So what is Trump’s strategy? Conclusion of an agreement by the Senate with a majority of Democrats? It is perfectly possible, but it is not an ideal situation on the eve of the presidential election and the struggle for Senate control, for which the Republican plan constantly unites the party and its conservative “base” and throws them out in unprecedented numbers.

The bottom line is that Trump’s bizarre and very public switch to the stimulus deal has increased the already substantial leverage Democrats have over legislation that would wait and pass so quickly once new leadership in the White House and Senate appears. That the president is here now he said he wanted a deal “Wrong” only adds the whip that “Crazy Nancy” has above it.


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