An MSNBC “Morning Joe” panel on the Republican-led Senate’s struggle to come up with a COVID-19 relief package turned into a discussion on the fact that several embattled Republicans need something to happen quickly — and they are getting no help from the GOP leadership.
According to co-host Joe Scarborough senior Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are blocking bills because they are trying to enhance their prospects to replace Donald Trump as the face of the party after he’s gone and they’re ignoring their colleagues’ plight.
“Right now, Mitch McConnell is more than just a majority leader who is worried about where he, you know, where the caucus is,” Scarborough began while also noting that McConnell has been returning to his home state because his re-election is not assured. “He’s got to worry about his own race. Look at Martha McSally (AZ) who’s in a lot of trouble politically. Look at Cory Gardner in Colorado. Joni Ernst in Iowa is probably in trouble. Susan Collins in Maine in big trouble.”
“Yesterday in North Carolina this poll came out on Thom Tillis, and Thom Tillis is getting beaten by nine points in North Carolina — the deep south,” he continued. “I’m sorry, it seems the Republicans are just sitting on their hands, not doing anything about voting, economic relief for working-class and middle-class Americans in many states like Arizona, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina. Can Mitch McConnell and the Republicans really sit back and let Donald Trump rig the election and let Donald Trump basically tell millions of Americans, let them eat cake?”
“The real challenge, if you look at middle-class Americans, is Republicans coming up with a plan to help these vulnerable senators, it’s Tom Cotton, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz,” Morning Joe contributor Jason Johnson offered. “The guys who want to run in 2024; the safe Republicans who think that, hey, ‘Donald Trump may be out of here and I want to set myself up to be one of the new leaders of the party.”
“They’re also the people standing in the way of creating the kind of relief that would help Susan Collins, Thom Tillis, Martha McSally and Joni Ernst,” he added. “The Republicans are in the vulnerable position of having to defend what the president is doing and they don’t know how to come up with a valuable plan. You know, it’s not just that we had the Susan Collins of the world and the Cory Gardners of the world, the fields they’re in is more competitive than six weeks ago. I don’t think Mitch McConnell realizes how tenuous his position of power is, that’s the reason everyone is scrambling for the doors.”
Trump woos farmers with promise of $14 billion in pandemic aid
In a bid to win over voters in US farm states, President Donald Trump announced up to $14 billion in aid to farmers and ranchers hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
With just six weeks left until the presidential election, Trump made the promise at a rally in Wisconsin late Thursday, but the funds come from an existing program and it is unclear how much additional money is left to spend.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided details Friday of the new round of payments, which will distribute whatever funds remain from a replenishment provided by Congress to farmers unable to sell their products or who are facing higher costs.
WATCH: Trump now says coronavirus vaccine by April – not Nov. 1 as he’s promised for weeks
For months President Donald Trump and his top administration officials have been promising the coronavirus vaccine would be ready by November 1. White House chief of staff mark Meadows this week said "potentially" be the end of September. Trump, too, has pushed up the date, suggesting a vaccine could be ready in early October.
After CDC Director Robert Redfield testified before Congress on Wednesday that a vaccine would not be ready until early spring of 2021, or some time in the summer next year, Trump claimed he had been mistaken.
‘Deranged’ Trump mocked for declaring himself ‘the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico‘
During a press briefing on Friday, President Donald Trump claimed that he was “the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico.”
The president was commenting on the fact that the White House had authorized $11.6 billion in aid to rebuild infrastructure on Puerto Rico three years after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
But given that Trump reportedly wanted to sell Puerto Rico or swap it for Greenland because he viewed the US territory as dirty, many people on Twitter did not take kindly to his boast.