After several months of stalled negotiations and partisan-fueled delays, Congress finally compromised on a $900 billion coronavirus relief package, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) essentially admitting that President Donald Trump’s apparent electoral loss was what allowed her to make that agreement.
Now we have learned just how much Trump’s exit from office was a factor in her decision-making. Pelosi reportedly told other Democrats over the weekend that she was “counting down the hours” until he was gone and that she was willing to remove him herself “by his hair” if necessary, Politico reported.
Pelosi goes off on Trump
Those remarks from Speaker Pelosi were said to have been uttered over the weekend during discussions with her leadership team and fellow Democrats regarding the final stages of negotiations on the coronavirus relief package.
Politico reported that the final compromise bill was largely due to a concerted bipartisan push from groups of centrists and moderates in both the House and Senate.
There was still plenty of partisan bickering over certain details among party leaders and negotiators. President Trump, however, was instead largely focused on his ongoing challenges of the reported election results rather than the COVID relief measure negotiations.
“I’m counting down the hours ‘til he’s gone,” Pelosi reportedly told her leadership team during a weekend strategy session, according to Politico. “I plan to pull him out of there by his hair, his little hands and his feet.”
Recall that it was just a few weeks ago in early December when Speaker Pelosi revealed how much Trump’s continued presence in the White House factored into her decision to stall negotiations on a relief bill, according to Newsweek at the time.
Pressed on why she was willing to accept a $900 billion deal when she’d previously rejected a White House offer for twice as much, $1.8 trillion, Pelosi openly admitted that her change in stance was due to Trump having reportedly lost the presidential election, which was “a total game-changer: a new president and a vaccine.”
“That was not a mistake, it was a decision, and it has taken us to a place where we can do the right thing without other, shall we say, considerations in the legislation that we don’t want,” Pelosi explained of her prior refusal to negotiate in good faith. “The fact is, I’m very proud of where we are.”
Trump fires back
Speaker Pelosi may want to refrain from celebrating President Trump’s impending exit from the White House too much, though. The president made it clear Tuesday night that he is unwilling to accept the “disgrace” of a bill that had been passed by Congress, as it was lumped in with an omnibus spending bill that included billions in giveaways to foreign nations and liberal-leaning domestic institutions while offering only $600 in direct payments to struggling American workers.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2020
Proving that he is still in charge for at least another month, Trump announced that he would refuse to sign the bill unless Congress increased the “ridiculously low” sum of $600 to $2,000 and got rid of the “wasteful and unnecessary items” that had been stuffed into the must-pass spending legislation.