Trump rejects Dems’ COVID-19 stimulus plan, delays talks until after election

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he is rejecting the Democrats’ $2.2-trillion COVID-19 economic stimulus plan and that he is delaying negotiations until after the election, claiming that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “not negotiating in good faith.”

In the spring, Congress passed an initial $2.2-trillion package but, for months, the next COVID-19 economic stimulus package has been stalled, due to both sides of the aisle not budging on an array of issues, most notably the package’s price tag. The GOP wanted a $1.6-trillion plan.

In the four-tweet thread, the President rejected the Democrats’ plan and said that he has directed his “representatives to stop negotiating until after the election,” adding, “immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.

“I have asked […] 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,” Trump continued.

Further clarifying his reasoning for halting the stimulus talks, Trump accused Pelosi of wanting $2.4 trillion “to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States,” and that the money “is in no way related to COVID-19.”

This follows the Democrats in the House of Representatives passing the relief package last week that included provisions which would allow certain undocumented immigrants who are “engaged in essential critical infrastructure labor or services in the United States” and would be put into “a period of deferred action” and authorized to work if they meet specific criteria.

With less than 30 days until Election Day and two GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee quarantining due to contracting COVID-19, President Trump looks to be refocusing his campaign strategy. Moreover, his positive diagnosis for the novel Coronavirus last Thursday means he’s not been as active as he has been on the campaign trail. Still, Republicans are chugging full steam ahead to ensure that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court before the election, which has been a top priority for the President.

While the economy has been recovering over the past few months as many states and localities slowly reopen, 12.6 million Americans remain unemployed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau Statistics, following the initial layoffs and furloughs at the beginning of the pandemic and the U.S. death toll continues to rise past 210,000.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.