President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has told his administration’s negotiators to end coronavirus stimulus talks with Democrats until after the Nov. 3 election.
The declaration, if the White House follows through on it, would halt an ongoing push to send trillions of dollars more in relief to Americans as the outbreak rampages through the U.S. and the economy struggles to recover from virus-related shutdowns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke for an hour about a relief package on Monday and planned to talk again Tuesday.
“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 tweeted on Tuesday.
The president added that he has asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “focus full time” on confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Trump spoke with Republican congressional leaders about stimulus plans earlier in the day.
Investors punished stocks in response to Trump’s tweets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 300 points, about 1.1%, in the minutes following the announcement.
Though talks had made little progress for months, traders had grown more hopeful that the sides could reach a deal before the election as many individuals and businesses struggle during the ongoing outbreak.
Congress has failed to deliver new relief money to individuals for months as millions of Americans left jobless by the pandemic struggle to pay for food, rent and other costs of living. Lifelines that sustained the economy throughout the early stages of the pandemic, including the $600 per week unemployment benefit and the window to apply for Paycheck Protection Program small business loans, lapsed weeks ago.
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