President Donald Trump left the White House last night to start a three-day vacation at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, according to a tweet by Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire. His getaway was schedule while negotiations over the new coronavirus relief bill remain stalled, with both Democrats and Republicans still battling over the recently-expired $600 unemployment benefit and other key issues.
The President arrived at his family-owned club hours after he tweeted that he was prepared to use executive action if talks over the COVID-19 relief package did not progress.
"Upon departing the Oval Office for Ohio, I've notified my staff to continue working on an Executive Order with respect to Payroll Tax Cut, Eviction Protections, Unemployment Extensions, and Student Loan Repayment Options," he tweeted.Trump's tweet implied that he will step in if talks between the Democrats and Republicans continue to stall. According to Politico, he said he would "probably" sign the orders Friday or Saturday.
"They're being drawn now... we'll see what happens. It's possible we'll make a deal, but it's also possible we won't," Trump told reporters on Thursday.
Aside from the extra $600 unemployment benefit that stopped July 25, many Americans are waiting to find out if, and when, a second $1200 stimulus check will land in their bank accounts. There are also concerns over eviction protection as well as an extension of emergency relief for student loan borrowers.
According to Fortune, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters that both sides have agreed on another stimulus check, but said there is "very little incentive" to continue talks with Democratic leaders if they don't come down from the $3.4 trillion they are requesting for the total aid package. Meadows stated that the GOP has come up from their initial $1 trillion offer, but did not confirm the actual dollar amount.
Whether Trump uses an Executive Order to get things moving or not, many people have voiced their disappointment on Twitter after they found out he is golfing amidst a health pandemic and economic crisis.
"2,000 Americans died today from a lethal virus the government has ignored. Donald Trump plans to spend a 3-day weekend at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster," said one Twitter user.
"The Republicans are very concerned about the American people: Trump is at his Bedminster resort for a long weekend of golf, and Moscow Mitch left town. Remarkable!" wrote another.
"Trump should spend the weekend in DC to continue negotiations to provide Americans with financial help they need. People are starving and need shelter. Irresponsible!!" a Twitter user commented.
President Trump is expected to return to the White House on Sunday night.