By MARIAM KHAN, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump, in a a surprise move Tuesday, announced that he was calling off talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on passing a new stimulus package until after the November election.
“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. 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,” Trump tweeted.
“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. I have asked…… @senatemajldr Mitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Our Economy is doing very well. 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!” he said.
…also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
Financial markets dropped sharply on the news.
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were negotiating in recent days and indicated several times that they were close to reaching a deal. They met at her office at the Capitol for 90 minutes last week, followed by a series of phone calls later in the week. They last spoke on Monday for about an hour and had scheduled to talk again Tuesday but it’s unclear if that meeting went on as scheduled given the president’s tweets.
Pelosi and Mnuchin traded paper on Monday but key differences still remained on liability insurance and funding for local and state governments, per a source familiar with the talks.
In a statement, Pelosi blasted the White House as being in “complete disarray.”
“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. Walking away from coronavirus talks 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,” Pelosi said.
“Clearly, the White House is in complete disarray. Sadly, they are rejecting the urgent warnings of Fed Chairman Powell today, that ‘Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy and holding back wage growth. By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller. Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste,” she said.
House Democrats were on a private caucus call Tuesday afternoon as the news broke that negotiations were called off by the president. Some Democrats were stunned at the news, given that the lead negotiators appeared to be on the brink of a deal, according to sources on the call.
Pelosi, on the private call, even questioned the president’s mental capacity given his recent usage of steroids as he battles coronavirus, sources familiar with the call told ABC News.
Trump’s announcement came just hours after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a speech that more stimulus was needed to help boost the economy.
“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” Powell said in a speech at a virtual annual meeting held by the National Association for Business Economics. “Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy, and holding back wage growth.”
ABC News’ Katherine Faulders contributed to this report.
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