Last week, President Trump and his Republican cronies refused to compromise with Democratic legislators and failed to pass desperately needed relief for the millions of unemployed Americans who would suddenly be facing both a dramatic cut to their unemployment benefits and an end to the eviction moratorium that kept a roof over their heads.
Recognizing that he couldn’t just pass the buck on this one, Trump took the constitutionally questionable route of passing executive orders to temporarily rectify the issue so that he could spend the weekend golfing at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
But on Monday morning, the President suddenly tweeted that Democratic leaders had reached out and wanted to “make a deal” on the coronavirus bailout. Infuriatingly, he accused them of having been absent for four weeks when the House’s latest coronavirus relief bill has been sitting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk that whole time, untouched by a rich old man who couldn’t care less if millions lose their homes for the second time in his Congressional career.
In the typical Trumpian way, he besmirched them as “hardliners” when in fact, Democrats had offered to meet them halfway with a proposal to reduce their $3 trillion plan by $1 trillion if the Republicans would add $1 trillion to their proposal. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin spat at this gesture of goodwill, calling it a “non-starter.”
So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it. Where have they been for the last 4 weeks when they were “hardliners”, and only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly? They know my phone number!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
Pelosi and Schumer resoundingly rejected the insinuation that they had reached out to Trump begging for a deal.
Trump has now tweeted twice that Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi called him to make a stimulus deal. @SenSchumer just called it "fables from Donald Trump, fables." … "No, we didn't call him." pic.twitter.com/aZFIsFv7D4
— The Recount (@therecount) August 10, 2020
“Fables from Donald Trump. Fables. That’s what he seems to specialize in. I didn’t call him. Speaker Pelosi didn’t call him. No, we didn’t call him,” said Schumer this morning to MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “He makes these things up or hears from somebody at one of his fundraisers or at his country club…Oh, the Democrats are calling you.’ He acts like it’s true.”
A spokesperson for Speaker Pelosi’s office confirmed to the Hill that they had not initiated any contact.
President Trump is notorious for inventing stories or incidents in his addled mind and repeating them as if they are true until they in fact do become true…in the eyes of his sycophantic supporters. But it is appalling — and from a political perspective, wildly counterproductive — for him to have turned the livelihoods and homes of millions of people into part of his incessant game of legislative chicken with the Democrats, a nonsensical struggle in which the only thing that matters is his personal perception of strength and the vindictive joy of having gotten over someone else.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.