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During an interview Sunday with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Fox News host Chris Wallace sought to blame solely the Trump administration and congressional Republicans for the lack of an additional coronavirus relief belief.
“House Democrats passed their relief bill back in May, fully two months ago, but here we are the last week in July and the White House and Senate Republicans still can’t agree on just a GOP package,” he said to Mnuchin on Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday.”
“Meanwhile, a federal ban on evictions ran out yesterday, federal unemployment benefits run out on Friday and the last checks have already gone out, and the Payroll Protection Program program for businesses is running out early next month.”
After playing a clip of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spouting off some Democrat Party talking points about their Republican colleagues, Wallace then accused the White House and Senate Republicans of not having their act together.
“Won’t millions of Americans and millions of businesses pay the price because the White House and Senate Republicans can’t get your act together?” he asked.
He failed to mention how Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, has vowed to block any coronavirus relief bills unless they include an amendment that would allow the government to deny funds to states that don’t adopt a mask mandate.
Regardless, watch the discussion that ensued on FNC below:
(Source: Fox News)
Mnuchin replied by deriding Wallace’s “unfair characterization” and pointing out that Senate Republicans are planning on introducing their own relief bill Monday.
Of course, before he could even finish speaking, Wallace interrupted with his comically habitual “but, but” refrain.
“But, but the plan was supposed to be announced on Wednesday, then Thursday, now it’s next week, and it’s two months after the Democrats came up with their plan, and now you’re going to have to start negotiating with Democrats,” he said.
Such things happen in the political world. Back in March, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi purposefully delayed a vote on a $2 trillion coronavirus spending bill that was passed by the GOP-led Senate. And she announced the delay on the same day as her birthday. Yet at the time, there were no complaints from Wallace …
“So do you have a GOP plan that will be announced tomorrow, and then what are laid-off workers and what are struggling businesses supposed to do while you spend … until sometime in August negotiating with Democrats?” the FNC host then asked.
For some reason, he neglected to mention that workers are laid off and businesses are still struggling primarily because of the hypocritical Democrat governors who refuse to pull back on their lockdown measures and allow their economies to thrive again.
“Job gains are much greater in states that have reopened faster,” The Wall Street Journal noted a couple of weeks ago.
Mnuchin replied to Wallace’s aggressive, one-sided line of questioning by pointing out that the Trump administration is prepared to break the package into smaller pieces so that certain funding — such as for businesses — can be passed faster.
He added that it’s imperative Congress not rush the entire process, as that could trigger another round of damaging ramifications like last time.
The first major relief bill passed during the spring contained a Democrat-drafted provision that’s led to laid-off workers not wanting to return to work because they’re now making more money just lying around at home.
This is happening everywhere. People are quitting jobs, refusing to return to jobs and spewing hate at their employers for paying them because they’re making MORE in unemployment payments than they are for working. https://t.co/BHY7xyVWSy via @BIZPACReview
— Sean Harshey 🇺🇸 (@seanharsheyoff1) April 24, 2020
And then came the “but, but.”
“But, but Nancy Pelosi has made it very clear she’s not going to agree to a piecemeal plan because the things that you want immediately are the things that you want, and there are things they want, and they’re not going to agree to some things until everything is agreed,” Wallace moaned.
Mnuchin replied by rightly noting that the whole process has been piecemeal.
“When you talk about piecemeal, this will be the fifth set of legislation, so there’s no reason why we can’t have number five, six and seven as we need to deal with issues,” he said.
Continuing the discussion, Wallace then accused the administration of caving to Democrats as it pertains to President Donald Trump’s desire for a payroll tax cut.
“When I did my interview with President Trump last week, he said that he might veto a bill that did not include a payroll tax cut. That now is gone from all the discussions. Why did the administration cave on that so quickly?” he asked.
Mnuchin tried replying by noting that Democrats have made it very clear that they refuse to do anything to help businesses, “so that’s something the president will come back and look at later in the year.”
“But, but,” Wallace interrupted again, “it wasn’t just Democrats — there were a number of Republicans who rejected … they all said they had no interest in that, and well, so you got blowback not just from Democrats but from some top Republicans.”
But why didn’t he mention that with his original question? Why did he sneak it in at the last minute?
Chris Wallace is negative about Trump in sneaky underhanded jabs. His questions and tone show contempt.
— Isabelle Knight (@izzynight48) February 5, 2017
Mnuchin responded by pointing out that there were plenty of Republicans who supported — and still support — a payroll tax cut as well.
In an attempt to steer the conversation in a more positive direction, he added that the unemployment rate has dropped from a high of 40 million.
This positivity displeased Wallace.
“You say we don’t have 40 million unemployed, but we do have 32 million people unemployed, and more people applied for jobless benefits last week, 1.4 million, than had applied the week before, so new unemployment is going up, not down,” the FNC host kvetched.
This small surge coincides with Democrat states like California reinstituting lockdown measures on their constituents.
As for those optimism-embracing states that are pushing forward with their reopenings, they’re doing better than their locked-down peers. Don’t expect to hear that from Wallace, though.
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