Trump calls off U.S. coronavirus relief talks with Democrats

Donald Trump cannot invoke the First Amendment to avoid accountability, says lawyer Eric Bjornland. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday called off negotiations with Democratic lawmakers on coronavirus relief legislation until after the election, even as cases of the virus are on the rise across much of the country before flu season.

“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 Twitter a day after emerging from a hospital stay for COVID-19 treatment.

Trump’s surprise move came after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said during an interview with NBC’s “Face the Nation” that progress was being made in her negotiations with the Trump administration on a bill to build on the more than $3 trillion in coronavirus aid enacted into law earlier this year.

Earlier on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told a business conference the U.S. economic expansion was “far from complete” following the deep contraction stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

A failure by the United States to provide further relief, Powell warned, “would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.”

Following Trump’s announcement breaking off negotiations, U.S. stocks were down more than 2 percent in late afternoon trading.

In recent days, financial markets were hopeful progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine and another round of economic stimulus from Congress would boost the U.S. economy, which has been showing signs of renewed weakness.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been talking regularly over the past week or so as they attempted to narrow the gap between a recent Democratic call for around $2.2 trillion in new spending to battle the pandemic and bolster the economy, versus around $1.6 trillion sought by the administration.

It was not clear whether enough Senate Republicans would have gotten behind any deal, however.

Pelosi aides were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Tim Ahmann, Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Chris Reese)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Sam Joubs says:

    So it’s another Ukraine situation?Holding people hostage for your own personal gain but this time the American public? What a useless piece of….!!!!

  • Jilla Benneyworth says:

    Yes please log out

  • Kanu Sukha says:

    On the same day Trump ends talks regarding the ‘stimulus’ package, the Nobel prize committee awards the Nobel prize in physics to three scientists regarding their research into ‘black holes’. Why did they not award Trump with one for discovering the ‘white hole’ amongst white supremacists? OR… maybe it is just part of ‘white fragility’ ?

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.