Trump calls off talks on coronavirus package, remains open to piecemeal legislation

President Donald Trump seemed to put an end to talks of a coronavirus relief deal when he published a tweet Tuesday saying he’d ordered White House officials to “stop negotiating” with Democrats on a stimulus package until after November’s election.

According to Breitbart, Trump wrote that “immediately” after he wins in November, “we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business[es].”

He also said he’s asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to “focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.”

But as CBS News reported, the president seemed to change course later Tuesday evening, suggesting that he might be open to parts and pieces of relief to hold American families over through Nov. 3.

“Are you listening, Nancy?”

According to CBS, Trump published a tweet hours later saying that he’d sign off on a bill from Congress to help airlines and small businesses. The package would be funded, Trump said, “with unused funds from the CARES Act,” the first round of COVID-19 relief legislation that was passed by Congress and signed by Trump in late March.

Trump added in a subsequent tweet, directed at Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) herself, that he’d also be open to a deal to help American families.

If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY,” he wrote. “I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?”

Pelosi’s partisan games

Despite these concessions, Trump still seems to be pushing back against the idea of a larger coronavirus relief package. Negotiations between Republicans, backed by the Trump administration, and Democrats in Congress have been stalled for weeks as Pelosi and company pursue partisan agenda items with a proposal that would cost more than $2 trillion, as the president noted in a tweet Tuesday.

Republicans, for their part, have given Pelosi some wiggle room, even bring a $1.6 trillion deal to the table, but to no avail.

Pelosi was said to have spoken over the phone with Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday specifically about “aid for the ailing airline industry,” ABC News reported, but it remains unclear whether any progress was made. Still, one thing is for certain: Trump and his fellow Republicans are getting very tired of Democrats’ political games.

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