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Trump ends talks with Democrats on a COVID-19 aid package

The president said negotiations are on hold until after the election

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Photo (c) LPETTET - Getty Images
Consumers and small business owners won’t be getting additional help from Washington until after the Nov. 3 election. President Trump late Tuesday abruptly cut off talks on another coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus bill.

“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill,” Trump posted on Twitter.

In a series of tweets, the president laid out his reasons for ending the talks, accusing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of negotiating in bad faith.

“Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bail out poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19,” Trump wrote. “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.”

“Walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus,” Pelosi responded in a statement.

‘Unnecessary hardship’

The president’s move came on the same day that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the nation’s economy faced “dire consequences” if Congress and the administration failed to quickly agree on another round of aid to consumers and businesses -- from small independent restaurants to industries like the airlines.

“The expansion is still far from complete,” Powell said during a virtual conference of private-sector economists Tuesday morning. “At this early stage, I would argue that the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric. Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship.”

Trump said Congress should act now to provide support to the airline industry, which has faced mounting losses after a huge drop in passenger traffic since March. The airlines have said they will have to furlough thousands of employees this month without help from Washington.

Trump also said Congress should approve another round of $1,200 payments to American adults, matching the stimulus payments Americans received under the CARES Act, passed in March. 

House Democrats have approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package that contains direct payments to Americans, but individual aid measures that both parties agree on have not yet been passed.

Trump’s tweet ending the talks came just before the stock market closed on Tuesday, and Wall Street didn’t like it one bit. A major market rally disappeared in minutes, with stocks losing all of the session’s gains and closing lower on the day.

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