The chairman of the House Democratic caucus blasted President Trump Tuesday for retreating to his Mar-a-Lago golf club with his "billionaire boys club" during the coronavirus crisis and then blaming Democrats for not doing enough.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries took issue with Trump's tweet that accused Democrats of not doing enough to respond to the economic effects of the spreading virus before heading to recess next week.
"Donald Trump was at a Florida golf resort hanging out with the billionaire boys club in the midst of a global epidemic," Jeffries, D-N.Y., said Tuesday when asked about Trump's criticism. "So we're not going to be lectured by Donald Trump about leadership when he's failed to show a scintilla of it in the midst of this whole crisis.”
Trump wants Congress to pass economic stimulus measures to stem economic bleeding from the coronavirus outbreak, including a payroll tax cut, small business aid and help for hourly workers who might become sick.
The House and Senate already passed an $8.3 billion aid package to boost the U.S. health care system to respond to the virus. Democrats Tuesday said any economic stimulus plan should be focused on workers, such as expanded sick leave, unemployment benefits, food assistance and health care access.
Their proposals were just coming in focus and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of California, and other Democrats doubted a vote would be ready this week before they leave Washington for a planned recess.
"In other words, it's off to vacation for the Do Nothing Democrats," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "That's been the story with them for 1 1/2 years!"
Trump spent the weekend at his golf club in Florida where well-heeled Republicans huddled for a fundraising retreat. He visited the Capitol Tuesday to meet with Senate Republicans about the payroll tax cut plans.
"We have a coronavirus that has killed thousands of people throughout the world already," Jeffries said. "We have a stock market that is in complete freefall. We may be heading into a recession. And Donald Trump wants to lecture us when he spent the weekend at his Florida golf resort."
The House is expected to be in recess next week as members of Congress work from their districts.