Gov. Ned Lamont called President Donald Trump’s surprising denouncement of Congress’s bipartisan COVID-19 relief package “dangerous” and “erratic” during a Wednesday press conference.
Trump upended months of bipartisan negotiations when he took to Twitter Tuesday night and posted a four-minute video in which he railed against the $900 billion stimulus package that Congress passed Monday. Although he did not explicitly say he would veto the legislation, Trump called the bill a “disgrace” and urged Congress to send him a package including dramatic changes.
Asked about the president’s speech during a televised news conference from the state Capitol building, Lamont called Trump’s remarks dangerous.
“That type of erratic behavior is really dangerous right now. It took Congress quite a while to come up, on a very bipartisan basis, a relief package that really emphasizes public health,” he said.
“Where were you Mr. President? They’ve been negotiating this for the last month. Don’t come in after the fact and pull the rug out from under it. It’s really dangerous,” Lamont said.
On Monday, Lamont said the relief package would include significant aid for Connecticut residents. The governor said he expected the state to receive $3.25 billion for small business assistance programs, $1.2 billion in additional unemployment insurance funding, and almost $250 million in rent relief funding. The package would also include funding for vaccinations, COVID testing and education support, Lamont said.
Trump’s opposition also threatens federal budget provisions which were passed in the same legislation. According to the state’s Congressional delegation, the bill also pays for a host of programs that impact Connecticut including $2.6 billion to fund the construction of two submarines as well as $54.3 billion in funding for elementary schools and $22.7 billion in funding for higher education institutions.
During his Tuesday night video, the president made several demands of Congress including removing funding for foreign aid and increasing the COVID relief bill’s direct payment to citizens from $600 to $2,000.