Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Monday that President Donald Trump may have signed the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill but doesn’t “think he’s happy about it.”
“I think the president was sending the message that Congress is broken, and it is. I think a lot of us were relieved he did sign the bill because I don’t think there was a plan if he didn’t, but I don’t think he’s happy about it,” Mulvaney told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Trump signed the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill Sunday after reprimanding lawmakers for not including more money for individual Americans. Trump stated he wanted the bill to include $2,000 of direct-pay stimulus benefits, rather than the $600 in the bill that he ended up signing.
“I think what he was trying to do was simply send a message that he wasn’t really happy with the bill. This is not at all unusual. Keep in mind, the whole bill is $2.3 trillion.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Kevin McCarthy Sends Letter To 23 House Democrats Who Threatened Pelosi If She Didn’t Get Bipartisan COVID Relief Deal)
“I think it’s actually a little bit bigger than that. Anytime you have a bill that’s that large, you’re not going to like any particular part of it. People have focused a lot on the Covid relief, and the $600 versus 2,000 but there’s about $1.4-1.5 trillion in other spending in the government funding part of the bill,” Mulvaney continued.
Mulvaney stated that the bill itself wasn’t unusual, and that President-elect Joe Biden would face the same problem.
“The reason you get these massive bills is that Congress is supposed to break those down into 12 bills during the year, but they’re lazy, and they don’t so they throw it all together at one bill at the end of the year, and essentially challenge any president to either sign it or shut the government down,” Mulvaney said. “Joe Biden is going to face the same difficulties next year. But I think what the president was doing is sort of throwing down a marker for his next political race, possibly and say look, I don’t think this was enough money.”
“There’s no reason to absolutely go big right now, you can sort of take this month by month,” Mulvaney concluded. (RELATED: ‘Picking Weed Over The Workers’: McCarthy Hammers Dems Over Delayed COVID Relief)
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has admitted that she waited until after the presidential election to approve a stimulus package.
Mulvaney urged Americans to find “a longer discussion” in terms of how massive bills are passed by the federal government.
“Let’s talk about how these bills get done, and how they get passed,” said Mulvaney, saying that much of these large spending bills is “usually slipped in by staff members on committees, they’re slipped in by committee chairman, they’re slipped in at the last moment, and 95% of the members of Congress don’t know about them[.]”