The hand grenade that Donald Trump dropped Tuesday night onto the combined coronavirus relief/omnibus federal government spending bill blew up an arduously crafted piece of legislation with two purposes: provide a financial lifeline to millions of struggling Americans and keep the federal government funded and operating.
In a video he put out on Twitter, Trump called on Congress to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000, a move that Democrats and most Republicans welcome. But he also complained that the bill “has almost nothing to do with COVID. It includes $85.5 million in assistance to Cambodia, $134 million to Burma.”
He’s actually correct on both counts, but his complaint about the proposed spending ignores two key facts. First, the proposed spending for Cambodia, Burma and other items are contained in the omnibus government funding portion of the bill, which has nothing to do with coronavirus relief. Second, his administration requested the U.S. investments in foreign countries.
Ohio GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who clearly doesn’t fear Trump as an influencer in future Republican politics, called out the president for lying about the spending package, tweeting, “If @realDonaldTrump didn’t want money going to foreign countries, he shouldn’t have asked for it. 100% of the items he complained about last night were either a lie (i.e. illegals aren’t getting $1800) or things in HIS budget.
“The covid deal had none of the pork that is being discussed. The omni had tons of pork. Again, though, it was Trump’s pork.”
He also blasted Trump for turning on members of the Republican Party who “stood by him for 4 years. If he thinks going on twitter and trashing the bill his team negotiated and we supported on his behalf is going to bring more people to his side in this election fiasco, I hope he’s wrong, though I guess we’ll see.”