Budowsky: Trump October surprise could devastate GOP

The odds are extremely high that the October surprise that will dominate and determine the results of the election will be a devastating new wave of COVID-19 infections, a catastrophic increase in COVID-19 deaths, and a disastrous increase in the jobless rate even more punishing and painful than what Americans endure today.

While President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE seems to believe a miracle COVID-19 vaccine in October will save his presidency, and all normal people hope and pray this vaccine happens, the prospects for this before the election are as likely as Trump’s prediction that the virus will magically disappear — which he offered long before almost 150,000 Americans were dead and the jobless rate rose to horrifying levels.

Today, under the leadership of Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief Boehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump Gun violence prevention groups optimistic background check legislation can pass this Congress MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Republicans, who are in grave danger of losing their majority, are being asked to fight for a puny continued emergency jobless benefit extension of only $200 which is reminiscent of Marie Antoinette offering her suffering people a little piece of cake while the rich get richer.


Do economic incompetence, moral indecency and political suicide ring a bell?

Meanwhile, today, the national ban on evictions is expiring. Every leader of every faith should demand action. There is a grave and imminent danger of potentially millions of Americans evicted and thrown onto the streets. Where will they go, when one major protection against the deadly virus is for them to stay at home, and they have no home?

Remember these words: If this happens, many of them will fall victim to COVID-19 and an alarming and immoral number of them will suffer preventable death. This will be the moral equivalent of manslaughter, because the danger is obvious and clear while Trump and Senate Republicans have failed to act on this or the $3 trillion economic and COVID-19 legislation that passed the House in May!

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden coronavirus relief bill tests narrow Democratic majority Some Republicans say proxy voting gives advantage to Democrats Gun violence prevention groups optimistic background check legislation can pass this Congress MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerA Biden stumble on China? First Black secretary of Senate sworn in Republican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote MORE (D-N.Y) and House and Senate Democrats deserve a standing ovation from voters for passing in the House and championing in the Senate this urgently needed program that passed the House in May.

Let me repeat for emphasis: It passed in May! Trump and McConnell did nothing in May, June or July.


If the president in May was named Joe BidenJoe BidenIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief South Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Obama alum Seth Harris to serve as Biden labor adviser: report MORE, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaClintons remember former adviser Vernon Jordan Vernon Jordan: an American legend, and a good friend A Biden stumble on China? MORE, George W. Bush, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill Clintons remember former adviser Vernon Jordan Vernon Jordan: an American legend, and a good friend MORE, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J vax rollout today; third woman accuses Cuomo Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to Georgia church after vaccinations The progressive case for the Hyde Amendment MORE, Gerald Ford, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOn The Money: Tanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief | Relief bill tests narrow Democratic majority | Senate confirms Biden's picks for Commerce, top WH economist Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend Kinzinger: Trump just wants to 'stand in front of a crowd and be adored' MORE, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainHouse Freedom Caucus chair weighs Arizona Senate bid Cindy McCain planning 'intimate memoir' of life with John McCain Trump-McConnell rift divides GOP donors MORE, Bob Dole or John KerryJohn KerryOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change Biden, Brazil and the Amazon MORE here is what they would have done:

They would have immediately invited House and Senate Democratic and Republican leaders to Camp David to hammer out a bill that would have been enacted by June 1. If Democrats favored a $3 trillion bill and Republicans favored a $1 trillion bill, they would have compromised in the middle — and enacted a strong jobless benefits bill, not the Marie Antoinette GOP version. They would have enacted an extension of the eviction ban to prevent homelessness and deaths that will happen if it is not immediately extended.

Trump, McConnell and Senate Republicans fail to understand the extreme danger, which leading medical authorities have warned about for months, of a powerful deadly COVID-19 wave that will happen during the flu season beginning in September and October.

There are reasons the flu season begins when it does, which happens every year at the same time. There are reasons the danger is extreme this year when the annual danger of the flu is compounded by the multiplied danger of COVID-19 escalating simultaneously in September, October and beyond.

The current wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths occur most often in states with Republican governors who toe the line behind Trump. The staggering disapproval of Trump’s handling of COVID-19 will worsen when this October surprise, which should not be a surprise, arrives.

Senate Republicans should break with Trump and provide enough votes to pass a major, effective and substantial jobs, economic and COVID-19 bill immediately. Millions of jobs, countless lives and Republican careers depend on it.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.