Trump abruptly halts stimulus negotiations; Pelosi says "the White House is in complete disarray"

Trump says a major stimulus bill won't be negotiated until after the election

By Nicole Karlis
Published October 6, 2020 5:36PM (EDT)
Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

One day after returning to the White House after being treated in the hospital for COVID-19, President Donald Trump ordered negotiators to halt discussions over a new stimulus package to alleviate the pandemic-related economic crash. The announcement comes after a lengthy bipartisan struggle between the Democrats and Republicans to reach a deal to provide more relief as millions of Americans continue to struggle with the economic downfall of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump made the announcement on Twitter.

"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 wrote on Tuesday afternoon, casting blame on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"Our Economy is doing very well," Trump continued on Twitter, as the market fell. "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!"

The decision to halt negotiations and fail to compromise is a major hit to Americans who are still struggling from the pandemic. Initially, a $2.2 trillion dollar stimulus package was passed by Congress in the spring. A small amount of that package went to direct payments to Americans who made under a specific income limit, who received a one-time check in the mail from the Treasury Department or a direct deposit. 

In a statement, Pelosi slammed Trump's announcement.

 "Clearly, the White House is in complete disarray," Pelosi said. "Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress."

Pelosi added: "Trump is wedded to his $150 billion 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," Ms. Pelosi said.

According to the New York Times, on a private caucus call before the announcement, Pelosi said Democrats were  "waiting for them to approve our language to crush the virus and how we put money in the pockets of the American people."

Earlier today, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called on policymakers for an aggressive fiscal stimulus for an easier economic recovery, which he said still has "a long way to go."

"By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller," Powell said. "Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste. The recovery will be stronger and move faster if monetary policy and fiscal policy continue to work side by side to provide support to the economy until it is clearly out of the woods."

Powell said forgetting about a stimulus now would "lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses."

After Trump's announcement, the Dow fell more than 600 points and closed at 27,773, or 376 points down for the day. 

Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a staff writer at Salon. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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Aggregate Cares Act Coronavirus Nancy Pelosi Pandemic Stimulus