With millions of Americans still suffering from the economic and health effects of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump said in a series of tweets today that he was putting an end to negotiations for a long-stalled relief package.
In the tweets, Trump faulted Democrats for a package proposal whose price tag was too high for many Republicans. (The latest version of the House-passed Heroes Act is $2.2 trillion, while Republicans want a package that’s closer to $1.6 trillion.) The president now claims he’ll wait until after the election to resume talks, and he tagged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in one of the tweets.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promptly responded to Trump’s tweets with a statement, accusing the president of “putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP members of Congress.”
Pelosi had been negotiating for several days with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, expressing cautious optimism that the two sides could reach an agreement. In an interview over the weekend, she even indicated that Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis could mark a turning point.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree on key points in the stimulus—including direct payments to Americans in the form of $1,200 checks and an extension of federal unemployment benefits (although they disagree on the amount), but issues such as state aid and money for coronavirus testing remain sticking points.
Trump, who is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in most polls, said in his tweetstorm that he will revisit the bill “after I win” and will focus for now on confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
He went on to falsely state that the stock market is at “record levels.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 200 points after his tweets.
Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020