Trump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism

President Trump on Wednesday threw cold water on the prospects of a coronavirus relief deal coming together quickly, just hours after his own top aides projected optimism that negotiations were moving in the right direction.

“Just don’t see any way Nancy Pelosi and Cryin’ Chuck Schumer will be willing to do what is right for our great American workers, or our wonderful USA itself, on Stimulus,” Trump tweeted of the top two Democrats in Congress.

The president again cited Democrats’ push for state and local aid as a major hurdle. He has repeatedly decried such funding as a bailout for Democratic-run states.

“Should take care of our people. It wasn’t their fault that the Plague came in from China!” Trump tweeted.

The president’s message undercuts his own aides, who have been negotiating for weeks with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in hopes of reaching an agreement to provide economic relief to Americans and businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier Wednesday, chief of staff Mark Meadows said the discussions had entered a “new phase” as the White House and Democratic negotiators attempted to find common ground on key issues.

“I am optimistic,” Meadows said. “We do share one goal, and that is hopefully to get some kind of deal in the next 48 hours or so.”

“We are still apart, still a number of issues to work on, but the last 24 hours have moved the ball down the field,” he added.

White House communications director Alyssa Farah said later Wednesday that officials were optimistic there could be “some movement” on a potential deal within 48 hours.

The president has been at odds with members of his own administration and top Senate Republicans over the contours of a possible economic relief deal. He has repeatedly urged the GOP to “go big” and said he would support a price tag higher than Pelosi’s proposal of $2.2 trillion, despite Republican senators showing little interest in such a hefty top line.

Trump last week chided Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the administration’s lead negotiator, for failing to “come home with the bacon” so far. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly cautioned the White House against agreeing to a deal with Pelosi before Election Day on Nov. 3, arguing that it could disrupt the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Tags Amy Coney Barrett Chuck Schumer Coronavirus coronavirus relief coronavirus stimulus COVID-19 Donald Trump Mark Meadows Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi relief bill Steven Mnuchin Stimulus
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