Trump Orders Halt to Stimulus Negotiations

October 6, 2020 Updated: October 6, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is not negotiating in good faith, President Donald Trump said Tuesday, as he revealed he ordered his representatives to cut off stimulus negotiations with her.

The White House and Democrats have been negotiating for months to try to reach a compromise on a fresh stimulus bill.

Pelosi is insisting on a package that includes sending federal funds to states that aren’t managed well, which has nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump said in a social media statement.

That package is for $2.4 trillion. Trump’s team offered a smaller package.

“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 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,” he said.

Pelosi said in response that walking away from negotiations “demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus, as is required by the Heroes Act.”

“He shows his contempt for science, his disdain for our heroes—in health care, first responders, sanitation, transportation, food workers, teachers, teachers, teachers and others—and he refuses to put money in workers’ pockets, unless his name is printed on the check,” she added.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s primary negotiator, spoke for an hour over the phone on Monday morning and planned to speak again on Tuesday, a spokesman for the speaker said on Twitter previously.

The House last week passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, an updated version of the Heroes Act, but the White House signaled it was opposed to the legislation.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holds her weekly press briefing
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holds her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 1, 2020. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

The bill included $436 billion for one year’s worth of assistance to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany accused Pelosi of not being serious.

“If she becomes serious, then we can have a discussion here,” McEnany told reporters in Washington. “But when you lower your offer $2.2 trillion, and you ask for direct payments to illegal immigrants, and you ask for certain deportation forgivenesses in your offer, it’s not a serious offer. What we are talking about here is relief for the American people, for American citizens, not direct payments for illegal immigrants.”

Congressional Republicans also criticized the bill.

“This bill recycles the same socialist wish list that was offered in the Heroes Act, which House Republicans overwhelmingly rejected,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) wrote in a memo to other Republicans before the vote last week.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has said that Trump won’t sign legislation that approaches a $2 trillion threshold.

Trump’s decision to stop negotiations came after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called for another stimulus package.

Otherwise, the economic recovery could be weak, “creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” he said.

The first stimulus package, the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law in March. Smaller packages centering around extra funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and the U.S. Postal Service has since passed and been signed by Trump.

Jack Phillips and Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.

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