Trump stops negotiations with Democrats on fresh stimulus for COVID-hit economy

By: |
October 07, 2020 3:04 PM

Trump's sudden decision on Tuesday to pull the plug on the negotiations is a major blow to millions of Americans still struggling with the fallout from the pandemic that has badly hit the economy and killed over 210,000 people in the country.

Trump loyalists have filed at least 15 legal challenges in Pennsylvania alone in an effort to reclaim the state's 20 electoral votes. (File photo: Reuters)

President Donald Trump has instructed his officials to stop negotiating with the Democrats on another stimulus package for the coronavirus-hit US economy until the November 3 presidential election, alleging that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was not holding talks in good faith.

Trump’s sudden decision on Tuesday to pull the plug on the negotiations is a major blow to millions of Americans still struggling with the fallout from the pandemic that has badly hit the economy and killed over 210,000 people in the 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,” Trump said in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

Trump’s instructions came a day after he was discharged from a military hospital where he was treated for COVID-19. For the past a few weeks, senior officials from his administration were negotiating with the House Democrats on a major stimulus package before the presidential election.

Analysts have warned that the recovery of the world’s largest economy risks stalling without further aid. While the US has regained about half the jobs lost in March and April, more than 10 million people remain unemployed.

“Nancy Pelosi is asking for USD 2.4 trillion 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 USD 1.6 trillion and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith,” the Republican president alleged.

“I am rejecting their request and looking to the future of our country,” he said. Trump said he has asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell not to delay but to focus full time on approving his outstanding nominee to the US Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.

“Our Economy is doing very well. The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!” Trump said.
In another tweet, he alleged that “crazy” Nancy Pelosi and “the radical Left” Democrats were just playing “games” with the desperately needed workers’ stimulus payments. “They were never in it to help the workers and they never will be!,” he alleged. But Pelosi accused Trump of “putting himself first at the expense of the country.”

“He shows his contempt for science, his disdain for our heroes… and he refuses to put money in workers’ pockets, unless his name is printed on the cheque,” she added. “Clearly, the White House is in complete disarray,” the top Democrat said.

Trump’s move could endanger an economic recovery that for months was driven by the initial USD 2.2 trillion stimulus passed by Congress in the spring. With that money largely spent, economists — including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in a renewed plea for action on Tuesday — have warned more support is imperative in the months ahead.

Trump’s Democratic Party presidential challenger Joe Biden alleged that by stopping the stimulus negotiations, Trump ended the efforts to pass a bipartisan relief that the country desperately needed. “He ended talks that would get help for our businesses and schools, for families struggling and for those unemployed — that would have preserved hundreds of thousands of jobs,” the former vice president said.

“Make no mistake: if you are out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald Trump decided today that none of that — none of it — matters to him,” Biden alleged.

“There will be no help from Washington for the foreseeable future. Instead, he wants the Senate to use it’s time to confirm his Supreme Court Justice nominee before the election in a mad dash to make sure that the court takes away your health care coverage as quickly as possible,” Biden said. Following the stalemate in Washington DC on the stimulus, Dow Jones dropped by 375 points.

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