advertisement
advertisement

Stimulus package update: With no deal for second checks or unemployment, Trump says negotiations are off

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promptly responded, accusing the president of “putting himself first at the expense of the country.”

Stimulus package update: With no deal for second checks or unemployment, Trump says negotiations are off
[Photo: Tia Dufour/The White House/Flickr; Syed F Hashemi/Unsplash]

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.

advertisement
advertisement

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.

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

More