With less than two months before the US election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is turning out as a trump card for President Donald Trump's re-election campaign. The Speaker's obstinate stance that blocks a much needed coronavirus relief deal is increasingly causing consternation in the Democratic camp.
If the anger over the relief fund stonewalling swells, the President can only gain from the melee. The Republicans have already turned the fire on Pelosi, who insists on a more than $2 trillion relief package, which they have dismissed.
"Every member of the leadership team, Democrats and Republicans, have messed up. Everyone is accountable ... Get something done. Get something done!" New York Democratic Representative Max Rose told Politico.
Pelosi's Job on the Line
If the next coronavirus relief package is late to arrive, the blame will largely rest on Pelosi. If the Trump campaign gets a bump up in the polls owing to this, it would be ironic. Pelosi is one Democrat whose job is on the line if Trump gets a second term.
It was Pelosi who orchestrated the selection of Joe Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee. She organised the coup against Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. She was the mascot of the Democrat strategy of total obstruction of Trump. She was also the chief architect of Trump impeachment, which was doomed to fail. The dramatic ripping of Trump's State of the Union speech was the high water mark of Pelosi's public scorn for the President.
She knows for sure if Trump wins a second term, her strategies and policies as House majority leader will be called in question. It's no wonder why she has launched vitriolic attacks on Trump. Yet if she fails to stop Trump on the tracks, the blame will rest on her. Ironically, she is aiding a Trump re-election even as the president is seen clawing back the lost ground in recent polls.
For her, Trump's return as president will be all but the end of the road. It's not certain if Trump will win, and it's less certain if the House wil go Republican even if Trump scrapes through to a second term. The Democrats have a 30 plus majority in the House, and it's going to be a tough challenge for the Republicans to tide over that lead.
Yet if that happens, it's the end of Pelosi's political road. Several Democrat lawmakers who face tough challenges in their re-election bids have already panicked and are putting pressure on Pelosi to cut a deal with the Republicans. They want a deal that would shore up their base ahead of the election.
But Pelosi steadfastly holds her ground. And she calls the shots. Meanwhile, Trump is trying to make inroads, directing fire on Pelosi. He said last week that Pelosi was holding up the stimulus deal in order to provide blue states with a "bailout."
"Pelosi and Schumer want Trillions of Dollars of BAILOUT money for Blue States that are doing badly, both economically and in terms of high crime, as a condition to making a deal on stimulus — But the USA is coming back strong!" Trump tweeted.
With pressure increasing on her to drive the House to a coronavirus relief deal, Pelosi tried to appease her detractors on Tuesday. She said i a morning call the House will continue deliberations until coronavirus funding is arrived at. "We have to stay here until we have a bill," Pelosi told her leadership team.
It's interesting to watch how Pelosi will wriggle out of a crisis of her own making.