Cave man

Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

Is the relief bill inadequate? Of course. But if Trump really felt that way, why did he wait until months of negotiations were complete to make his feelings known?

The weeklong delay in signing the bill has allowed unemployment insurance to lapse for millions of Americans. That’s a curious outcome from a guy who claims to believe that Americans aren’t getting enough support.

Trump issued a face-saving statement about the Impoundment Control Act, implying that he’s going to strip out “wasteful items [that] need to be removed.” In reality, the ICA “prevent[s] the President and other government officials from unilaterally substituting their own funding decisions for those of the Congress.” In other words, the opposite of what Trump’s statement implies.

Fun fact: The items Trump called “pork” track almost exactly with what the White House requested in its annual FY 2021 budget.

Trump wanted to punish GOP congressional leaders for not helping him steal the election. But he picked a fight over a bill that passed with veto-proof majorities.

When congressional Republicans refused to support $2,000 stimulus payments for Americans, Trump — conservatives’ alpha male, their darling genius dealmaker who fights tirelessly for them — did what he always does when he encounters pushback: He caved. He tried to save face with ineffectual bluster about the ICA, but he caved.

He was absolutely right about the bill being a Band-aid on a bullet wound, but instead of engaging with the negotiations process months ago to ensure an adequate relief package for the American people, instead of doing the hard work required to protect Americans, jobs and the economy, He. Just. Caved.