Murkowski after Trump halts talks: Congress must move on virus package

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP senator defends Cheney, Murkowski after Trump rebuke Trump promises to travel to Alaska to campaign against Murkowski GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill MORE (R-Alaska) said Tuesday that she thought talks on another coronavirus relief package should continue, even after President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE pulled the plug until after the election.

"Now is not the time for Congress to stop doing its work. I strongly believe negotiations should continue, particularly among those of us in Congress. ... We all need to keep working until we reach a bipartisan agreement that can pass both chambers and be signed by the president," Murkowski said in a statement. 

Murkowski is the second GOP senator to push back against the abrupt end to the negotiations, which Trump announced via a series of tweets earlier Tuesday.


Trump's decision comes as House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinBiden cautious in making Trump tax returns decision Biden brings back bipartisan meetings at the White House On The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears MORE have talked daily, and met in person last week, as part of an effort to try to revive the long-stalled negotiations and reach an agreement. 

The president, however, said in a string of tweets that he had told his negotiating team — Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsTrump attacks Karl Rove: 'A pompous fool with bad advice' How scientists saved Trump's FDA from politics Liberals howl after Democrats cave on witnesses MORE — to walk away. 

"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. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats near pressure point on nixing filibuster  We need a voting rights workaround Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package MORE (R-Ky.) offered support for Trump's decision on Tuesday, saying the president's view "was that they were not going to produce a result."

McConnell has been publicly noncommittal about moving any deal reached by Pelosi and Mnuchin in the Senate. And top members of his leadership team have cast doubt that a bill starting at $1.5 trillion or $1.6 trillion, the White House's latest offer, could get enough GOP support to pass the Senate.

But Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Murkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy MORE (R-Maine), an endangered incumbent who like Murkowski is part of a dwindling group of moderates, called the decision to end talks a "huge mistake." 

"I have already been in touch with the Secretary of the Treasury, one of the chief negotiators, and with several of my Senate colleagues," Collins said in a statement.