President Donald Trump says he has instructed his administration to stop negotiating the next stimulus bill until after the general election in November.
Trump made the announcement in a series of tweets Tuesday afternoon, in which he accused Democratic leaders of asking for a $2.4 trillion “bailout” for things not related to COVID-19
Local politicians and leaders have since reacted to the news of the stimulus bill halt.
Senator Mark Warner:
Holding suffering Americans in need of assistance hostage in order to play tough guy games? The President clearly doesn’t understand the gravity of this crisis. https://t.co/EpHk5okRw4— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) October 6, 2020
Senator Tim Kaine:
This is a colossal disservice to the American people who urgently need relief from the COVID-induced economic collapse that's wreaking havoc on their lives. This isn't a game. https://t.co/5IYSkTWqE2— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) October 6, 2020
Warner and Kaine joint statement:
“The American public is telling us they need COVID relief now and we should wait until after the election to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Instead, the President and Senate GOP are rushing their court nominee and ignoring Americans who are suffering in this health and economic crisis. We should be prioritizing COVID relief and we are discouraged that the President has decided to end the negotiations to do that.”
President Trump, his administration, and Congressional leadership in both chambers should continue to negotiate in earnest regarding the next COVID relief package. They owe it to the families, small businesses, and communities that are suffering to stay at the table and work toward a bipartisan deal that provides targeted relief to those most in need of support during these challenging times. As a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, I joined a bipartisan coalition to present a framework for the next relief package that addresses key areas, including COVID-19 testing, support for small businesses, unemployment insurance, state and local aid, and support for schools.
Rep. Rob Wittman:
I have long advocated for additional bipartisan COVID-19 pandemic relief legislation that President Trump could sign into law to get the American people the help they need. It’s unfortunate that Speaker Pelosi refused to work with the White House on a commonsense bipartisan solution for all Americans. I think we owe it to the people to find real solutions to help those who have been most impacted by the pandemic and I believe there is common ground to provide relief to millions of struggling Americans through continued unemployment relief, extension of the job-saving Paycheck Protection Program, and an additional round of individual economic impact payments. I am here and ready to work to ensure that Washington finishes the job and provides the support Virginians need to recover.
Congressman Bobby Scott:
“President Trump’s unwillingness to continue negotiations to provide much needed relief to the American people is just another example of this administration needlessly playing politics with the lives of students, workers, and families.
Over the last several months, the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged this nation into a deep recession. As dire as the economic situation is, the damage would have been far worse if not for expanded unemployment benefits, hundreds of billions of dollars in relief for businesses, support for public education, and other provisions passed as a result of previous relief Congress provided. In fact, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated today [cbpp.org] that the current downturn will be longer, deeper, and more painful if Congress does not provide substantial relief. By withdrawing from negotiations, the president is risking the health and safety of not only our economy, but communities across the country.
Since the House passed the Heroes Act five months ago, the need for federal support has only grown. I am deeply disappointed in the president’s decision to abandon these critical relief negotiations when Americans need it most.”