President Donald Trump may have blown up a possible deal on a coronavirus relief package with a late-night tweet attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has been engaged in some legislative diplomacy to work out an agreement between Senate Republicans and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of the aid package to salvage the economy during the outbreak, but Trump’s tweet may help sink those efforts, reported Politico Playbook.
Republicans had a deal until Nancy Pelosi rode into town from her extended vacation. The Democrats want the Virus to win? They are asking for things that have nothing to do with our great workers or companies. They want Open Borders & Green New Deal. Republicans shouldn’t agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2020
Schumer told reporters right around the time Trump was tweeting that he and Mnuchin were close to a deal, and the Senate minority leader said the president “seemed very happy” when the Treasury secretary had told him about the agreement.
But the president’s tweet — which contained lies about Pelosi taking a vacation, open borders and the Green New Deal — gives Republican lawmakers cover to blow up the relief package.
One GOP senator could force the Senate to wait until Wednesday to vote on the package, and that could cause big problems if Trump comes out against the deal.
The vote will be tight with a handful of GOP absences related to the coronavirus, and the House hopes to pass the eventual Senate bill by unanimous consent without bringing representatives back to Washington during the outbreak for a roll-call vote.
But just one lawmaker could ruin that plan — and Trump has already sent a signal that he has problems with the deal.