President Donald Trump ending Covid-19 stimulus negotiations left many baffled—Here's what happened
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President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has told his administration’s negotiators to end coronavirus stimulus talks with Democrats until after the Nov. 3 election.
The declaration halts an ongoing push to send trillions of dollars more in relief to Americans as the outbreak rampages through the U.S. and the economy struggles to recover from virus-related shutdowns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke for an hour about a relief package on Monday and planned to talk about a possible agreement again Tuesday. Trump, who has Covid-19 himself, had only three days ago urged the sides to complete a deal after taking no direct role in the talks for months.
“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 tweeted Tuesday.
The president added that he has asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “focus full time” on confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, which Senate Republicans have pushed to do before the election amid several Covid-19 cases within their ranks. Trump spoke with Republican congressional leaders about stimulus plans earlier in the day.
Trump appeared to contradict his earlier message in a tweet Tuesday night. Responding to a headline about Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell calling for more fiscal stimulus and saying Congress has a low risk of “overdoing it,” the president wrote, “True!”
Pelosi and Mnuchin talked Tuesday afternoon, and the Treasury secretary confirmed that Trump pulled out of the discussions, the speaker’s spokesman Drew Hammill said in a tweet. Pelosi “expressed her disappointment in the President’s decision,” Hammill wrote.
In a statement responding to Trump’s tweets, Pelosi said the president “showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress.” She added that “walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus.”
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