Converging crises from COVID-19, economic suffering, an impending government shutdown and President Trump’s ongoing battle to overthrow the elections raised the alarm on Sunday, and a Republican senator voiced concern that the president had a legacy of “chaos, misery and unpredictable behavior. “
When Trump spent the day playing golf at his Florida resort and cracking down on members of his own party, millions of people lost unemployment benefits because the president had previously refused to sign a bipartisan bill to relieve coronavirus and spending, which Congress passed last week by overwhelming majorities. Trump delegated the negotiations to his Treasury Secretary, who previously told lawmakers the president intended to sign them.
“I’ve just given up on guessing” what the president might do next, Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Hogan, who has criticized Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which killed more than 332,000 Americans, said on CNN’s State of the Union that the president “should have weighed up” eight months ago if he did greater incentives wanted to include checks in the relief effort he was now exorcising.
“Sign the bill – do it,” urged the governor.
Trump has ignored such appeals and continued to focus on his complaints. When he did not attack the courts, FBI, Justice Department and Republican Senators for failing to support his unfounded allegations of widespread electoral fraud, the president unleashed a flood of tweets criticizing the comprehensive package of facilitation and spending.
Before leaving town for the vacation, Trump called the legislation a “disgrace” Tuesday and called for direct payments to US taxpayers to be increased from $ 600 to $ 2,000, with some separate expenses removed. In doing so, he undercut Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who had negotiated on behalf of the White House.
On Fox News Sunday, Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) Warned that Trump would be remembered in his final days at the White House for “chaos, misery and unpredictable behavior” if he did not quickly sign the stimulus package.
“You don’t get everything you want when you’re President of the United States,” Toomey said. “We just got an invoice that his administration supported in the negotiations. I think we should do that. “
The Democrats responded with enthusiasm to Trump’s call for Congress to boost direct payments. They have indicated that if Trump really wants such a hike, he could quickly address it in a separate measure that they will bring in the House on Monday.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Who appeared on ABC’s “This Week”, called Trump “pathologically narcissistic” for failing to sign the existing laws.
“What the president is doing right now is incredibly cruel,” said Sanders. “Many millions of people are losing their unemployment benefits. You will be evicted. “
President-elect Biden said on Saturday that Trump’s refusal to sign the law was a “waiver of responsibility” with particularly painful consequences during a holiday season.
“It’s a day after Christmas and millions of families don’t know if they can make ends meet because President Donald Trump refuses to sign an overwhelming, bipartisan Congress-approved economic relief bill,” said the president said the President-elect in a statement.
Illinois MP Adam Kinzinger, meanwhile, condemned the fundraiser associated with Trump’s continued efforts to nullify the November 3rd election as a “fraud”. After losing dozens of legal bids to violate Biden’s victory, the president worked with several Republicans in Congress to ditch the electoral college findings, which are due to be ratified in a joint congressional session on Jan. 6.
“They’re raising money for it,” said Kinzinger of the more than $ 200 million raised in response to appeals to support the vote, “State of the Union” said. “It is a scam,” he added, that “will disappoint people who believe this election was stolen and who believe this is an opportunity to change it.”
Calling Trump’s veto over a defense spending measure “nonsensical” last week, Kinzinger said he couldn’t understand how Republican counterparts who supported the law could now reverse themselves at the President’s behest, making it impossible to override the veto.
“I don’t know how you can justify that other than saying, ‘I’ll only do what the president wants,” said Kinzinger.
The tumult in Washington comes against the backdrop of what is already the deadliest month of the pandemic.
The country’s foremost infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci told State of the Union that despite the introduction of the vaccine, it will take some time for the coronavirus’ deadly momentum to weaken. California became the first state to have 2 million cases of the virus last week. The death toll is close to 25,000.
Fauci, who will continue to serve in the new administration, said: “I share President-elect Biden’s concern that the nationwide outlook” may indeed deteriorate “over the next few weeks.
Trump’s surgeon general Jerome Adams, who appeared on “This Week,” agreed, saying he was “very concerned” about a surge after the year-end vacation.