Trump Invites All GOP Senators (Minus Romney) To New COVID-19 Council

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

President Trump formed a new bipartisan council ahead of the weekend, tasking them with assessing how quickly Americans can get to work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Daily Wire reports, Trump formed the “Opening Up America Again Congressional Group” after spending most of Thursday on the phone with nearly 100 lawmakers from both parties.

Trump discussed potential actions the leaders could take in the coming months, inviting “65 senators and 32 House members” to join him on the council, USA Today reports.

Of the 65 Senators, a whopping 52 are Republicans—leaving just one Republican Senator out of the council: Mitt Romney.

The Daily Wire adds: “It includes 12 Democratic senators, one independent, and 10 House Democrats in addition to the Republican congressmen who make up the majority of the council.”

The White House released a statement saying the president is intending to partner with governors across the nation, too, before formalizing a plan to reopen the country: “The president announced that he will soon provide guidance to America’s governors to determine their ability to reignite the economies in their respective states,” the White House said in a press release.

“The dialogue between the president, senior administration officials and the bipartisan group of members of Congress also included a range of topics, namely the need for additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, the international and domestic supply chains, ways to energize the economy, surprise medical billing, clarifying the difference between essential and non-essential workers, mental health, and relief for small businesses,” the press release added.

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The Daily Wire reports Romney’s exclusion comes as he was the only Republican to back the impeachment effort earlier this year:

Romney, whose career was built on turning around struggling businesses, has had an ongoing feud with the president since he ran for election. Those tensions escalated in February when Romney became the only Republican senator to vote to impeach Trump on abuse-of-power charges.”

Trump responded to Romney’s vote by calling the Utah centrist a “disgrace.” When Trump learned that Romney was quarantined due to possible exposure to the coronavirus, Trump said at a press conference: “Romney’s in isolation? Gee, that’s too bad.”

Once Romney tested negative for the virus, Trump sarcastically congratulated him on Twitter.


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