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Thomas Gallatin / October 8, 2020

Just Send Second Round of Stimulus Checks, Trump Says

He calls Pelosi’s bluff and demands a clean bill of funding directly to Americans.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump told Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to stop negotiations with House Democrats over another COVID-19 relief bill until after the election. “Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith,” Trump explained. “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill.”

Many in the mainstream media — and even some in conservative media — lamented that Trump was throwing in the towel, that he was essentially conceding defeat and maybe even the election itself. Furthermore, news of Trump’s decision sent the stock market tumbling as Wall Street’s anticipation of another massive government bailout went unmet.

But that was all early Tuesday and, as is so often the case, Trump’s negotiating was just getting underway. By Tuesday evening, Trump suddenly returned to the table and essentially upended it by calling on Pelosi to agree to a simple, clean, and lean bill authorizing $1,200 stimulus checks for every American and nothing else. “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?”

The art of the deal.

Trump further called for a second clean bill providing funding for the airline industry and small businesses. “The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business,” Trump asserted. “Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!”

Trump called Pelosi’s bluff. Democrats have sought to take advantage of the coronavirus to funnel billions of dollars to poorly run blue-state governments rather than getting funds directly to the American people. Pelosi admitted as much when she responded to Trump’s latest offer: “All the president wants is his name on a check. And that doesn’t — we’re here to honor our heroes, crush the virus, put money in the pockets of the American people beyond a check with his name on it.”

The brilliance of Trump’s action here is its simplicity. If the U.S. government is going to spend trillions more dollars in helping hurting Americans endure this coronavirus-induced economic malaise, why not send those funds directly to them, free of pork and government carveouts?

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