Per The Hill, Trump accused Pelosi of abdicating her congressional duties, arguing that Democrats are to blame for the delay in legislation meant to help small businesses survive the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think the Democrats are going to do it. Look, Nancy Pelosi, she’s away on vacation or something and she should come back,” the president said.
“She should come back and get this done. I don’t know why she’s not coming back. The fact is, she’s not doing her job and there’s nothing unusual about that for her.”
Trump has previously criticized Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, telling both to “immediately” return to Capitol Hill in order to work on the legislation. The United States Congress is on recess until May 4, so it is likely that neither Democrats nor Republicans will return to Washington soon.
Trump appears to be frustrated that a deal to provide an additional $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program has not been reached yet. Democrats are asking for $250 billion in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, hospitals, and local governments. The GOP wants the bill to focus on small businesses.
According to the president, however, $250 billion is more than enough. “It’s going to get us to a point that’s going to be rather beautiful. It could be that they want more but maybe at a certain point we’re going to stop,” he said at the press conference, pushing back against the suggestion that there are technical issues with the program.
“It’s been a tremendous success. It’s been executed flawlessly with few exceptions, it’s really been good,” the commander-in-chief said.
As The Hill notes, the bipartisan program ran out of funds on Thursday.
Tensions between Trump and Congress have been brewing for quite some time. Earlier this week, apparently frustrated with the fact that Congress is on recess, Trump threatened to adjourn both chambers. The president said that he would use Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution, which no president has ever done. According to experts, Senate Democrats would be able to block such a maneuver.
Trump has also argued that Congress is making it more difficult for the federal government to handle the coronavirus pandemic, pointing to vacancies that need to be filled. Of the 749 key positions, 150 are reportedly vacant — not because of Congress, but because the president has refused to nominate full-time appointees, allowing officials in acting capacities to fill the vacuum.