Trump calling off pandemic relief talks until after election; stock market drops

President Trump on Friday took to Twitter to declare: “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!”

“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. I am rejecting their……request, and looking to the future of our Country,” Trump tweeted.

“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. I have asked…… @senatemajldr Mitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Our Economy is doing very well. The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment…..also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!” he said.

Financial markets dropped sharply on the news.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were negotiating in recent days and indicated several times that they were close to reaching a deal. They met at her office at the Capitol for 90 minutes last week, followed by a series of phone calls later in the week. Pelosi and Mnuchin traded paper on Monday but key differences still remained on liability insurance and funding for local and state governments, per a source familiar with the talks.

Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke again by phone Tuesday afternoon just after the president called off negotiations. Mnuchin, according to Pelosi’s office, confirmed that talks were off.

“The Secretary confirmed that the President has walked away from COVID talks. The Speaker expressed her disappointment in the President’s decision to abandon the economic & health needs of the American people,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a tweet.