To a striking extent Trump doesn’t seem to fully understand that maintaining any chance of being re-elected is going to require very rapid economic relief from Congress:
“We don’t need 48 hours, we need to just make a decision to help families right now,” Pelosi said. “I’m not sticking around because they don’t want to agree to language.”
Senior Democrats had initially been hopeful — some, even confident — that their bill would win support from Republicans. By Thursday morning, however, GOP leaders said they would oppose the plan over the paid leave plan and changes to Medicaid, which would help hospitals cover swelling costs of uninsured patients.
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he did not support the measure, even as his Treasury chief took part in a third phone call with Pelosi to discuss changes to the bill.
“No, there are things in there that had nothing to do of what we are talking about. It is not a way for them to get some of the goodies they have been able to get for the last 25 years,” Trump said, without offering specifics.
The Democrats’ package would shore up safety net programs like food assistance, unemployment insurance and temporary sick leave with growing numbers of people forced to stay home from work and schools. It would also make free coronavirus testing widely available in a bid to address one of the nation’s major struggles in containing the outbreak.
Again, it’s just amazing that American political discourse proceeded for decades on the premise that Democrats and Republicans basically shared the same values on health care and merely had different means of achieving them, when in fact Republicans hate Medicaid so much on principle they’re willing to harm their own self-interest to avoid expanding it in any way.
House Democrats are using their leverage appropriately here. They shouldn’t tank the economy just to damage Trump. But both Trump and Senate Republicans need this to pass and they should make sure that the stimulus gets help where it’s needed to the maximum extent possible.