President Donald Trump suggested he might intervene if Republican senators don’t support a second stimulus package worth several trillion dollars, after top Senate Republicans indicated that they wouldn’t support such a measure.
The White House offered a more than $1.8 trillion stimulus deal to Democrats, who have rejected it, although negotiations are continuing.
“I want the money by tonight, but [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to approve it because she thinks it’s good politically for her not to approve it. … She wants to bail out poorly run Democrat states,” Trump told local news station WTMJ.
“And we don’t want to do that. I don’t think she wants to approve it anyway. I think even if we gave her the money for the poorly run Democrat states, I don’t think she’d approve it anyway.”
Trump says that if any GOP senators oppose the stimulus package, he “will take care of that problem in two minutes.”
“If I had something that would be good, I think I could quickly convince the Republicans to do it,” the president said, alleging that Pelosi wants to hold up the deal “until after the election, and I think it’s bad for the Democrats.”
“But I’m ready, willing, and able,” he said. “If they sent a bill over, I am ready, willing, and able. And I wanted a higher number than [Pelosi] wanted.”
Trump didn’t elaborate on how much a potential stimulus deal would be, but said it would be more than the Democrats’ proposal of $2.2 trillion.
Talks between the White House and Pelosi have been on and off since late summer, with neither side giving much ground. However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin several weeks ago upped the administration’s offer to $1.8 trillion, saying that stimulus payments, unemployment benefits, and small business loans are needed.
On Oct. 18, Pelosi appeared on ABC News’s “This Week” and said the White House has 48 hours to come up with a stimulus package acceptable to her caucus, although she stipulated in a statement later that day that she’s optimistic about a deal being passed before the November election.
“On this subject where we have agreement, we don’t have agreement on the language yet, but I’m hopeful,” Pelosi told ABC News. In the Oct. 18 release, her office said there’s a difference in language between her and the GOP.
Her office said she’s “optimistic that we can reach [an] agreement before the election. To that end, we are writing language as we negotiate the priorities, so that we are fully prepared to move forward once we reach agreement.”