US President Donald Trump on Tuesday rejected a new virus relief proposal put forward by House Democrats and said he is breaking off the economic stimulus negotiations until after he wins the November election.
Trump justified his decision by blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tweeting that she was seeking 2.4 trillion dollars “to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States.”
The president said he was offering a 1.6 trillion dollar aid package and that Pelosi was “not negotiating in good faith.”
“I am rejecting their request, and looking to the future of our Country. I have instructed my 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.”
Later on Thursday night the president tweeted that he would approve a stand-alone stimulus bill to give many Americans a 1,200-dollar stimulus check.
“I’m ready to sign now. Are you listening Nancy?” Trump tweeted. The months-long, on-again-off-again negotiations between House Speaker Pelosi, a Democrat, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a Republican, had resumed in recent days, but the two sides failed to come to an agreement.
In the meantime, key benefits, such as enhanced unemployment insurance and assistance to small businesses, have expired since Congress passed its first 2.2-trillion-dollar coronavirus relief measures this spring.
A major impasse in the negotiations had been the Democrats’ demand for greater funding for struggling state governments.
Stocks fell Tuesday in response to Trump’s announcement. In a statement, Pelosi slammed Trump for walking away from the negotiations, arguing that he “is unwilling to crush the virus.”
“The president is abandoning meeting the needs of our children as they adjust to learning in-person, virtual or hybrid,” Pelosi said.
“Instead, Trump is wedded to his 150 billion dollar tax cut for the wealthiest people in America from the CARES Act, while he refuses to give real help to poor children, the unemployed and America’s hard working families,” she added. “Clearly, the White House is in complete disarray.”