Trump And Republicans Found Enough Money To Help Trump Hotel But Not Unemployed Americans
July 27, 2020
Trump and Senate Republicans want to cut unemployment benefits and say they don’t have enough money for rent or food assistance. Yet they managed to find enough for the FBI HQ that has nothing to do with the pandemic, but benefits Trump’s hotel, and held up negotiations over it.
Trump pressured Senate Republicans into including nearly $2 billion in the coronavirus relief bill for construction of a new FBI headquarters across from his DC hotel—which held up negotiations on badly needed relief.
Washington Post: “Under intense White House pressure, Senate Republicans agreed Monday to allocate $1.75 billion in their coronavirus relief bill towards the construction of a new D.C. headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Washington Post: “Complicating efforts for a compromise are potential conflicts of interest stemming from Trump’s continued ownership of a hotel a block down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Even Senate Republicans couldn’t explain why Trump insisted the FBI funding be included or what it had to do with the pandemic.
MCCONNELL: “‘You’ll have to ask them why they insisted that be included,’ he told reporters, referring to the White House.”
SHELBY: “Asked Monday what a new FBI building had to do with the novel coronavirus, Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a key negotiator of the stimulus package, paused and said, ‘Good question.’ Shelby, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said that for some items the bill had to ‘stretch the link’ to the pandemic.”
Spending on the new FBI headquarters and requiring it remain at its current location could help benefit Trump’s hotel.
New York Times’s Jim Tankersley: “This spending could help the president’s business, by preventing the construction of a rival hotel if the FBI moves its HQ.”
Washington Post’s Dan Eggen: “Before Trump was elected, officials at his company feared a competing hotel if the FBI moved its headquarters. Now Trump is trying to get money in the coronavirus relief bill to keep the FBI building where it is – and keep away any competitors.”
Trump and Republicans want to cut unemployment benefits and came up with a more complicated program that could take months to implement.
CNBC: “GOP relief plan slashes unemployment benefits by 43% for average worker”
Washington Post: “In the new GOP plan, Senate Republicans propose cutting weekly emergency unemployment benefits from $600 to $200 until states can bring a more complicated program online.”
Bloomberg: “The proposal favored by Republicans for extending supplemental unemployment benefits aiding millions of Americans made unemployed by Covid-19 could take some states the rest of the year to implement.”
Trump and Senate Republicans also left out additional funding for essential items like rental and food assistance in their stimulus plan.
CBPP: “The Senate Republican plan is similarly inadequate in addressing rising hardship among those struggling to put food on the table. It doesn’t raise SNAP benefit levels even though 26 million adults reported that their households, which include millions of children, often or sometimes didn’t have enough to eat in the last seven days, according to Census data from early July.”
CBPP: “The plan also falls far short in addressing the looming crisis of evictions and homelessness, providing little to help people now facing severe housing instability. It contains no funding for homelessness services or additional rental vouchers, and it fails to extend the federal eviction moratorium that expired Friday.”