Dec 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

GOP Sen. Toomey: Trump will be "remembered for chaos" if he doesn't sign COVID relief bill

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) on "Fox News Sunday" urged President Trump to sign the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill and $1.4 trillion government funding measure passed by Congress or risk being "remembered for chaos and misery and erratic behavior."

The big picture: President Trump indicated in a video last week he won't sign the measure unless it's amended to increase the $600 direct payments to Americans. Unemployment benefits for millions of Americans lapsed overnight and Trump's refusal to sign the bill could trigger a government shutdown this week.

What he's saying: "I understand he wants to be remembered for advocating for big checks, but the danger is he'll be remembered for chaos and misery and erratic behavior if he allows this to expire," Toomey said.

  • "You don't get everything you want, even if you're the president of the United States. We have two legislative bodies and Democrats control one, Republicans control the other."
  • "I think we ought to do is sign this bill and then make the case. Congress can pass another bill."
  • Toomey added that he doesn't know if there will be a shutdown, but that the president "has not actually explicitly said he is going to veto this bill."

Worth noting: Toomey also criticized some of Trump's presidential pardons.

  • While Toomey defended Trump's pardon of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, the Republican senator said the president went too far with others.
  • "I mean, my goodness, we have tax fraud and bank fraud, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, but because they were close to the president they got pardoned," Toomey said.
  • "This is unfortunately reminiscent of the Marc Rich pardon by President Clinton. It is legal, it is constitutional, but I think it's a misuse of the power."

Go deeper: Trump pardons Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Charles Kushner

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