In a tweet Tuesday, Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Calif., replied with a vulgarity to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in response to the senator’s tweet blaming top Democrats for the lack of a new coronavirus stimulus package.
“I hoped this week we’d be finalizing major legislation. After all, American families are struggling and need help. But Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer decided not to deliver. I am glad the president stepped in to soften the blow of their hostage tactics,” McConnell tweeted Monday.
To which Rouda posted a tweet in response showing a Google search bar with the phrase “How to politely tell someone to f—k off,” being entered.
Rep. Rouda could not be immediately reached for comment on his tweet, but tensions remain high in the capitol as Democrats and Republicans point the finger as to why the latest coronavirus stimulus package fell through Friday.
“As far as I know, the secretary of the Treasury and the [White House] chief of staff have not spoken to the speaker and the Democratic leader today. And so another day has gone by with an impasse and they need to get together,” McConnell told Fox News Tuesday.
Democrats sought a $3 trillion aid package that would extend the $600 unemployment weekly benefit, as well as small business aid and other protective measures. But the $3 trillion figure was a nonstarter with congressional republicans who proposed a $1 trillion aid package.
“We’ll take down $1 trillion if you add $1 trillion in,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference Friday. “They said absolutely not.”
The White House issued an executive order for some coronavirus relief this weekend, which would extend the weekly unemployment benefit to $400 a week and defer payroll taxes through December – a move that angered both democrats and republicans.
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Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chucker Schumer issued a joint statement over the weekend saying it did “little real help to families,” and Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Ne., called it “unconstitutional slop.”
“President Obama did not have the power to unilaterally rewrite immigration law with DACA, and President Trump does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law,” Sasse said.
But Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the White House is willing to spend more on coronavirus relief and are open to talks. “The president is determined to spend what we need to spend,” Mnuchin said during an interview with CNBC Monday. “We’re prepared to put more money on the table.”
The sticking point in the stimulus package is providing state and local aid. Democrats put aside $1 trillion in additional state funding, a figure that republicans are flat rejecting.
“We’re not going to give a trillion dollars for state and local, that’s just not a reasonable approach,” Mnuchin said.
But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press call Sunday that Trump’s executive order would cost the state an additional $4 billion, adding to their $30 billion deficit caused by the pandemic.
Under Trump’s relief plan, states would be required to pay 25% of the weekly benefit costs, while the federal government covers the other 75%, a move Mnuchin claims the cash-strapped states can afford.