House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin were expected to reach a deal on the next stimulus package this week. President Donald Trump, however, effectively ended stimulus talks on Tuesday, suggesting you won’t get coronavirus stimulus checks before the November election.
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In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump said he had asked his representatives to stop “negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.”
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Further, Trump said he had asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to now focus on getting his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed quickly.
Trump ending the stimulus talks undid the optimism developed in recent days following the talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin. It was believed that the two sides would reach a deal this week as they were just $600 billion apart.
The House Democrats recently introduced a proposal costing $2.2 trillion, while the White House made a counteroffer of $1.6 trillion. However, it wasn’t known if a deal of this magnitude could have passed the Senate.
Nevertheless, Trump ending the talks will come as a big disappointment to Americans waiting eagerly for the next coronavirus stimulus checks. Just hours before Trump’s tweet, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell again made a call for the stimulus package.
“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardships for households and businesses ... Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste," Powell said.
Trump’s tweet triggers blame game
The blame game started immediately after Trump’s tweet to end the stimulus talks.
“When you say. ‘what is the president thinking?’ you may be using that term ‘thinking’ loosely,” Pelosi said, as per MarketWatch.
Pelosi also accused Trump of backing out because he does not favor tax provisions sought by Democrats and doesn’t want to give stimulus checks unless his name is printed on them.
Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden also blamed Trump, saying he "turned his back” on Americans.
McConnell, on the other hand, supported Trump’s decision to end the stimulus talks, saying “his view was that they were not going to produce a result” and thus, it is better to focus on “what’s achievable.”
McConnell said the negotiations have been ongoing since July and that Pelosi never gave a “reasonable offer.” Both McConnell and Pelosi, however, hinted at taking up the stimulus package after the elections.
Trump accused Pelosi of negotiating in bad faith, saying she 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." The $2.4 trillion figure that Trump cited is incorrect because Democrats' latest proposal is of $2.2 trillion.