Trump halts COVID-19 relief talks until after election

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 7, 2020
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U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he has asked his administration's negotiators to withdraw from COVID-19 relief talks with Democrats until after the presidential election in November.

"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 Tuesday afternoon, claiming that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not negotiating in good faith.

"Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith," the president tweeted.

In a statement responding to Trump's tweets, Pelosi said "walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus."

"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, adding they're rejecting the urgent warnings from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

During a speech to the National Association for Business Economics virtual annual meeting earlier on Tuesday, Powell urged policymakers to provide more relief to households and businesses hurt by the pandemic, warning a prolonged slowing economic recovery could trigger typical recessionary dynamics.

"At this early stage, I would argue that the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric. Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses," he said.

"Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy, and holding back wage growth," said the Fed chief.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi have resumed negotiations over the relief package in recent days, but the talks have so far yielded no deal, with significant differences remaining in key areas such as aid to state and local governments.

The Democrats-controlled House last week passed a 2.2-trillion-U.S.-dollar COVID-19 relief bill. However, some Senate Republicans previously signaled that they are not willing to support any package that costs over 1.5 trillion dollars to salvage the economy reeling from the pandemic.

Economists, as well as Federal Reserve officials, have argued that more fiscal relief is needed to sustain the economic recovery, warning of dire consequences if further fiscal support is not provided in time.

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