President Donald Trump instructed administration officials on Tuesday to end talks with Democrats on another coronavirus stimulus bill until after the election, saying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asking for too much funding and “not negotiating in good faith.”
What are the details?
“Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19,” Trump tweeted. “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,” he continued. “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.”
The Hill noted that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows have been in talks with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) “since late July on a fifth bipartisan coronavirus relief package but have been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement.”
Last week, House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion relief package viewed as “largely symbolic,” given that it did not garner a single affirmative Republican vote.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said at the time that negotiations with the Trump administration for another stimulus were still ongoing, and that Democrats “believe this bill is a reasonable compromise.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called the legislation a “liberal wish list.”
But Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, confirmed on Twitter that the talks are now over, writing, “Speaker Pelosi & Secretary Mnuchin spoke briefly at 3:30 p.m. by phone. The Secretary confirmed that the President has walked away from COVID talks. The Speaker expressed her disappointment in the President’s decision to abandon the economic & health needs of the American people.”
Trump also tweeted that he asked Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.”
When asked by CNN whether he agreed with the president’s decision, McConnell replied, “I do. I think his view is that they were not going to produce a result and we need to concentrate on what’s achievable.”