President Donald Trump really wants a stimulus package to pass Congress so that he can deal with the economic fallout that’s related to the global spread of coronavirus.
Among other items, Trump is promoting a payroll tax holiday to last through at least the end of this year, a notion that some in his own party aren’t even on board with.
Trump met with Republican lawmakers on Tuesday to discuss his plans, but has so far steered clear of setting up any appointments with Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
After watching markets fall yesterday, Trump overruled skeptical advisers and said he wanted to announce a payroll tax cut to counter coronavirus economic woes. Details have not been closely vetted, and GOP senators showed skepticism Tuesday. Our latest: https://t.co/fVL8xpmciJ
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) March 10, 2020
The Democratic-run House will need to pass any resolution Trump wants to sign into law, so it seems a bit odd that the president is avoiding talking to Pelosi about a deal. The reason he’s not reaching out to her?
He has a childish grudge against the Speaker.
Politico reports that Trump and Pelosi are not on “speaking terms” at the moment, a status that stems from the president’s dislike of her during and after the impeachment saga that took place from the fall of last year to February. Trump’s grudge against the Speaker is inconvenient, however, for millions of Americans who are depending on him to lead during the coronavirus crisis.
"It doesn't seem like that would end well," Javers says of WH thinking on trying to get Trump & Pelosi together
— Kerry Eleveld (@kerryeleveld) March 10, 2020
To address the negotiations that are necessary to get a bill passed, Trump has instead sent Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to speak with Pelosi on what kind of efforts Democrats would be agreeable to in order to stave off continued economic difficulties and market dropoffs.
Democrats are set to unveil a plan of their own, which will likely focus on workers, including guaranteeing paid medical leave during the COVID-19 crisis.
Trump’s disdain toward Pelosi has been noticeable in recent weeks. Earlier this week, it was announced that Trump had rejected an invitation from Pelosi to attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day lunch, set to take place Thursday.
The lunch is generally seen as a bipartisan event, but White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump couldn’t go due to Pelosi choosing “to tear this Nation apart with her actions and her rhetoric” against the president.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.