There has been a great deal of political narrative engineering/fabrication surrounding President Trump’s admonitions to congress about a pork-filled COVID relief package. With a budgetary “shut-down” date looming on Monday, let’s look at the issues.
First, there’s no such thing as a federal government “shut-down”; the only thing that happens if with a budgetary date exceeded is “non essential” government employees told to stay home (reference the prior “sequestration” nonsense).
Second, the jaw-droppingly tone-deaf and pork-filled scheme of spending within the $900 billion COVID relief package is disconnected from the Omnibus spending bill ($1.5 trillion) that was combined into a single legislative construct for convenience only.
The Omnibus bill (non budget spending/allocation) and the COVID bill can be separated, because they are technically separate bills.
President Trump wants congress to re-write the $900 billion COVID bill to provide $2,000 per person instead of $600 per person. In essence Trump is asking for a stand alone COVID relief bill for $2k/person, then drop the $600/person payment out of the pork-laden COVID relief bill and start that economic relief bill over.
This is not a hard issue to resolve. The only reason UniParty congress is fighting Trump is because their lobbyist and foreign government bribes are part of the $900 billion and will not pass the scrutiny of public opinion if standing alone.
To try and conflate the issues Pelosi changed on part of the pork-laden COVID bill to $2k/person, without removing all the pork. The GOP voted against that scheme and the media are now claiming that loggerhead derails the omnibus part of the spending “package”. Again, Omnibus is separate from COVID relief. The obtuse arguments are conflated and false.
The Omnibus spending bill can be sent to POTUS without the COVID part included. The reason why McConnell and Pelosi want to keep them attached is because the combination makes a 5,500 page mess that hides the pork.
President Trump could veto (directly) or hold a pocket-veto (hold the bill) by doing nothing. The funding “runs out” (::cough-BS-cough::) on Monday.
Pelosi could: (a) counter with a short-term spending bill, or (b) let government shut down and then the media blame game begins…. or (c) separate Omnibus.
Pelosi/McConnell could easily separate Omnibus and then pass a stand alone COVID relief package at $2k/person without the pork. Of course this is against their interests.
It is a legislative game of chicken with President Trump. The bottom line comes down to political weaponization of the issues. President Trump could use his platform to hammer Pelosi/McConnell and likely win based on public opinion.
It looks to me like President Trump is waiting to see if the American people understand how the UniParty congress has set this up. If most Americans understand it, POTUS will likely go with the pocket-veto approach…