Administration

Trump defends move to halt relief talks, accuses Democrats of playing ‘games’

President Trump on Tuesday night defended his decision to halt talks with congressional Democrats over a coronavirus relief package, accusing them of not being serious in their negotiations.

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left Democrats were just playing ‘games’ with the desperately needed Workers Stimulus Payments. They just wanted to take care of Democrat failed, high crime, Cities and States. They were never in it to help the workers, and they never will be!” he tweeted.

The tweet comes after he announced he was ordering his aides to halt talks with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on another stimulus package, punting a deal until after the election.

“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 said.

The move was a sharp reversal from the weekend when Trump pushed for negotiators to reach an agreement, telling them to “GET IT DONE.”

The move marks a risky gamble in the final sprint to Election Day, essentially leaving economic progress in limbo as millions of Americans remain unemployed and businesses across the country remain shuttered.

Even if negotiators had been able to reach a deal, there were concerns in the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that a stimulus package with a price tag of at least $1.6 trillion would have difficulty garnering the support of enough Republican senators to pass.

The decision was quickly condemned by Democrats, with Pelosi accusing Trump of shirking his responsibilities as president by shutting down talks to help millions of Americans hurting during a coronavirus-plagued economic downturn. 

“Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress,” she said in a statement, adding that the White House “is in complete disarray.”

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi U.S. federal government response to the COVID-19 pandemic
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