Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, as the saying goes, but outgoing president Donald Trump has been correct far less than that. Still, on Tuesday night, a mere two days before Christmas Day, he took a break from fuming at people like Mike Pence to deploy one of his patented leftfield bombshells: He called the long-, long-, long delayed (and poorly received) coronavirus relief bill a “disgrace,” taking particular issue with the size of the stimulus checks that would be sent to the majority of Americans. And you know what? Democratic lawmakers completely agreed with him.
Statement by Donald J. Trump, The President of the United States
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2020
The news arrived in the form of one of Trump’s strange, rambling, epic videos — a 10-minute bout that began with him railing against Democrats in Congress for holding up the works (ignoring that it was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who’s been sitting on a sizable relief bill for around half a year). And yet he still made some salient points.
“It’s called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid,” Trump said, echoing sentiments made by many who have long opposed him. “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people.”
He then took aim at the paltry size of the checks that the majority of Americans, a good many of them struggling, would receive. “I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000,” Trump declared.
And you know who was completely on-board with immediately putting Donald Trump’s latest demands into action? Democrats.
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
“Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks,” tweeted Speaker of the House (and frequent Trump combatant) Nancy Pelosi. “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!”
Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader, got her back.
We spent months trying to secure $2000 checks but Republicans blocked it
Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we're glad to pass more aid Americans need
Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to block it again
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 23, 2020
As did The Squad, who pointed out a bill with $2,000 stimulus checks has long been ready to go.
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.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 23, 2020
Mitch don’t be the only reason people don’t get $2000, let’s do this. https://t.co/yuvsYUQX6m
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 23, 2020
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) December 23, 2020
The Occupant of the White House taking a hard line in support of what Progressives have been fighting for, literally all year, to spite McConnell.
Honestly, whatever gets my constituents survival checks.
People’s lives are at stake.
Survival checks now. pic.twitter.com/FsADptgffS
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 23, 2020
As did one of said bill’s authors.
— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) December 23, 2020
That's great! I first introduced a bill to provide a $2,000 direct payment with @SenKamalaHarris & @EdMarkey 7 months ago. Now, Mr. President, get Mitch McConnell and your Republican friends to stop opposing it and we can provide working class Americans with $2,000. Let's do it. https://t.co/fKvqBsqM0k
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 23, 2020
While Democratic lawmakers were rearing to go, plebeians rejoiced in the sight of Trump seemingly putting a knife in Mitch McConnell’s back.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: checkmate. pic.twitter.com/rFdKIDlLur
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) December 23, 2020
We either get $2k stimulus checks or Trump helps make it crystal clear that Senate Republicans are to blame just days before 2 of them are up for re-election in a race that decides control of the Senate.
Merry Christmas, Mitch! https://t.co/F0rb49xEPz
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) December 23, 2020
Trump screwing over Mitch McConnell as one of his final acts as president is my favorite song. Also: $2,000 still isn’t enough.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 23, 2020
Of course, others — risking being Debbie Downers — pointed out that maybe, just maybe, a well-known liar and conman is not to be trusted.
trump's veto threat of the COVID-19 bill is just a delay tactic to prevent ANY money from going out.
It should have been $2,000 per person from the start, but NOW is not the time to fuck around.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) December 23, 2020
It would have been nice if Trump had used his presidential powers to pressure @senatemajldr Mitch McConnell for a $2,000 stimulus check during the past 7 weeks instead of wasting his time tweeting conspiracy theories about his election loss.
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) December 23, 2020
Indeed, Trump’s declaration came right after word broke about a ream of end-of-administration pardons that included the freeing of actual war criminals who had been convicted of murdering, among others, children.
Worth reading about each pardon.
The four Blackwater guards — Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard — were convicted in 2014 after fourteen killings of Iraqi civilians, including 9- and 11-year-old boys, were deemed unjustified.https://t.co/vdeyuaYba3
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) December 23, 2020
And if you stopped watching Trump’s speech prematurely, you might have missed him suggesting he was ready to serve another term, despite…everything.
Trump ended his latest unhinged rant by proclaiming “we cannot allow a completely fraudulent election to stand.”
Reminder: he has not been able to produce any evidence of fraud and the Electoral College has already voted. pic.twitter.com/rCBv4OcYia
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 23, 2020
(Via The New York Times)