Hours after President Donald Trump told his staff to end negotiations with lawmakers over a new stimulus package, he reversed that decision.
In a pair of tweets Tuesday night (Oct. 6), Trump wrote he would support a second $1,200 direct check to Americans, billions to meet airlines' payroll through March and an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program.
“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” he tweeted. “The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!”
Earlier Tuesday, the president ended negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over the new stimulus and put them off until following the election on Nov. 3.
“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 early Tuesday.
CNBC reported Tuesday that Trump instructed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to put all his energy into confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), who, along with U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, had been unable to reach an accord, expressed her disappointment at the temporary suspension of negotiations.
Last week, despite being unable to reach a compromise with Mnuchin, Pelosi urged airline executives not to implement layoffs scheduled in the absence of a second stimulus package.
“Don’t fire people,” she said. “You know that relief is on the way.”
News that stimulus could be delayed until next month came hours after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that more federal spending is necessary now to keep the economy afloat.
In a speech to members of the National Association for Business Economics, Powell said the biggest danger for the federal government is doing too little, not too much.
“A prolonged slowing in the pace of improvement over time could trigger typical recessionary dynamics, as weakness feeds on weakness,” Powell said. “A long period of unnecessarily slow progress could continue to exacerbate existing disparities in our economy. That would be tragic, especially in light of our country’s progress on these issues in the years leading up to the pandemic.”