Michael D. Shear and Catie Edmondson at NYT:
As an exercise in raw presidential power, it was a flop. As a political tactic, it backfired. And as a coda to his final weeks in office, President Trump’s threat to veto a $900 billion Covid relief and government funding bill merely underscored his tumultuous tenure in the Oval Office.
For five days, starting before Christmas, Mr. Trump virtually held the nation hostage, delaying the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of out-of-work Americans, holding up the delivery of $600 checks, and dangling the possibility of a total government shutdown even as officials raced to distribute a coronavirus vaccine.
And then he caved.
After calling the bill “a disgrace” and mocking the checks as “measly,” the president signed the legislation into law on Sunday night, claiming to have won concessions from Congress in the process, including votes to increase the individual payments to $2,000. But in truth, Mr. Trump achieved little more than a few face-saving pledges that will do nothing to substantially alter the bipartisan legislation.
“It’s another example of the story of the Trump presidency,” said Michael Steel, who was press secretary for John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, when Mr. Boehner was speaker of the House. “He achieved a few more days of chaos at the end of a chaotic presidency.
....being removed and brought home from foreign lands who do NOTHING for us. A disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech. Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders, NOW! Senate should not approve NDAA until fixed!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2020