Over the weekend, President Donald Trump blamed Democrats in the U.S. Congress for holding up the next stimulus check and other coronavirus-related aid. The White House has been heavily involved in negotiations between the United States Senate and Congress over the sorely-needed relief package. He pulled no punches in placing blame on his political opponents on social media.
Trump posted a series of tweets on Friday describing the things that he was "ready" to do to help stabilize the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. This included funding states to save the jobs of "police, fire fighters, first responders and teachers," adding more money to the Paycheck Protection Program, and issuing a second stimulus check itself. He punctuated each tweet with the accusation: "DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!"
I am ready to send more money to States and Local governments to save jobs for Police, Fire Fighters, First Responders, and Teachers. DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2020
Trump also claimed that he is prepared to "send [$105 billion] to the states to help open schools safely with additional PPE," and "send Rental Assistance payments to hardworking Americans that have been hurt by the" coronavirus. He repeatedly used the racist term "ChinaVirus" in his tweets as well.
Despite his claims on Twitter, the Trump administration has not been entirely unified with Senate Republicans throughout the stimulus negotiation process. Moreover, some of the propositions in his tweets are items that Democrats have fought for, not Republicans — particular rental assistance.
I am ready to send $105B to the states to help open schools safely with additional PPE. DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2020
According to a report by The Associated Press, leaders of both the Democrats and Republicans are essentially playing the blame game as stimulus negotiations drag on into another month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stood firm on demands that the bill include funding for food aid, rapid COVID-19 testing and funding for the U.S. Postal Service, nothing that "people will die" if Republicans continue to squabble over these items.
"Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gave a damn," she said of her political opponents. "That isn't the case."
Both sides are also insisting that the other is making demands which have nothing to do with the pandemic. According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, this means USPS funding for the Democrats, while Democrats in turn criticize McConnell for using his HEALS Act to fund federal construction projects and military programs.
I am ready to send Rental Assistance payments to hardworking Americans that have been hurt by the ChinaVirus. DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2020
The postal service debate is taking center stage among these issues, as many states attempt to pivot towards mail-in voting as a safety measure due to the pandemic. That topic also featured heavily in the president's tweets this weekend, as he defied election experts by continuing to claim that mail-in voting is not secure. He also hinted that he would not accept the results of an election with widespread mail-in voting, writing: "The Democrats know the 2020 Election will be a fraudulent mess. Will may be never know who won!"