Trump reportedly wants to ‘inflict as much pain on Congress as possible’
President Trump still hasn’t signed Congress’ $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, and the clock is ticking. Indeed, it’s looking more likely that he’ll veto it, or simply sit on it, unless lawmakers find a way to increase direct stimulus payments and cut some other items, like foreign aid, out of the package before a potential government shut down on Tuesday.
While Trump may genuinely want more significant individual payments, he’s faced criticism for waiting until after a bipartisan agreement was reached to make his opinion clear, surprising Congress and his own negotiating team led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the process. One source briefed by White House officials on the matter told The Washington Post, Trump — who has been frustrated by his election loss and the fallout from the coronavirus during his final year in office — is “just angry at everybody and wants to inflict as much pain on Congress as possible.”
Even Mnuchin, one of the few Cabinet members to make it all four years with Trump, seems to be on the outs with his boss. Per the Post, Mnuchin was excited about the agreement and believed the president would sign it, but was then reportedly blindsided by Trump posting a video last week in which he bashed the deal and its $600 checks.
“Loyalty and assistance to President Trump generally gets rewarded with humiliation,” Brian Reidl, a conservative policy expert at the right-leaning think tank, the Manhattan Institute, told the Post.