President Trump in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday night demanded that lawmakers amend the coronavirus stimulus package they passed Monday to include $2,000 checks for individuals instead of $600 checks — while also insisting that “wasteful and unnecessary” items be cut from the year-end spending package that was attached to the pandemic aid.
The president, meanwhile, doubled down on his baseless claims that he won the presidential election in a “magnificent landslide” and attacked the two most powerful Republicans in the U.S. Senate because they’ve acknowledged that President-elect Biden won the election.
Trump’s broadsides against his own party, unproven election claims and 11th-hour stimulus demands after essentially being absent through the entire negotiating process continued his pattern of sowing chaos in the waning days of his presidency as he’s failed to publicly accept that he will be leaving the White House in less than a month.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said in his Twitter video. “I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a package, and maybe that administration will be me.”
The year-end funding package, often referred to as an omnibus, was combined with the coronavirus stimulus bill as Congress raced to get out of Washington, D.C., for Christmas. The funding package was previously negotiated in Congress, while lawmakers finally came to an agreement on the coronavirus aid over the weekend. Both would have had to pass anyway, but combining them allowed it to be done in one vote.
Some lawmakers had voiced process objections over the fact the two were combined and derisively termed the monstrous legislation the “coronabus.” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said it “should have been divided into well over 20 bills.”
But Trump appeared to confuse the spending package that funds the government and the coronavirus stimulus.