United States President Donald Trump expressed scepticism that an agreement could be reached with Democratic leaders on a new round of coronavirus aid relief, seemingly torpedoing hopes for a stimulus plan even as talks continue between Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary Treasury Steve Mnuchin.
“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 wrote on Twitter Wednesday evening. “Their primary focus is BAILING OUT poorly run (and high crime) Democrat cities and states….Should take care of our people. It wasn’t their fault that the Plague came in from China!”
The tweets came after all three financial indexes fell on Wednesday amid dwindling hopes of a stimulus plan before Americans head to the polls on Election Day November 3.
Pelosi has proposed $2.2 trillion to help struggling businesses and families, while the White House rolled out a $1.8 trillion proposal, which Trump has since said he would be willing to go beyond. But Pelosi and Mnuchin are reportedly getting closer to a deal, with the pair due to speak again on Thursday, Pelosi’s spokesman said in a tweet.
Experts have warned the US needs another round of financial relief for struggling businesses and families in order to recover from the pandemic’s economic downturn. The last round of aid expired at the end of July, including an additional $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits meant to shore up workers in addition to state aid.
Earlier this month, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the country’s entire economic recovery is in danger of derailing if the government does not step up to the plate.
“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” Powell said during an October 7 event with economists and strategists.
Trump has frequently used Twitter to weigh in on the continuing stimulus talks. On the same day Powell spoke, Trump tweeted that he had told his representatives to halt stimulus negotiations with Democrats until after the election – before making an about-face hours later and urging Democratic legislators to cast targeted financial lines to businesses and households.
Last week, he tweeted: “STIMULUS! “Go big or go home!!!” even as Senate Republicans expressed support for a pared-down aid package.
On Wednesday, Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told Fox Business “the president’s willing to lean into this” with Republican senators if a deal is reached.
Talks are continuing as the timeframe for a pre-Election Day vote narrows, with investors around the world closely watching what comes out of Pelosi and Mnuchin’s discussions Thursday.