A day after being released from the hospital where he was being treated for the Coronavirus, President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered his top aides to halt any negotiations with House Democrats on a deal involving extra virus relief aid, telling Senate Republicans to instead focus on approving his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election, when immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill,” the President wrote in a series of posts on Twitter.
The surprise move caused an immediate drop on Wall Street, where investors had thought talks were progressing on aid for individuals and businesses hit by the virus outbreak.
“STOCKS DIVE AFTER TRUMP TWEETS ABOUT STIMULUS DELAY,” roared the headline on CNBC, as the numbers plunged into the red.
The President blamed Democrats for the impasse, saying his offer of $1.6 trillion in assistance was more than enough, accusing Speaker Nancy Pelosi of ‘not negotiating in good faith.’
While the President had been in the hospital to be treated for the Coronavirus, Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been continuing talks on a relief measure, though they were still far apart on a final resolution.
In Congress, Democrats denounced the President’s declaration.
“Not sure if this is the virus talking, or just Trump’s usual heartless, arrogant chaos,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA).
“It’s outrageous the President is stopping negotiations on another COVID relief package,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO).
“This is not a reality TV show! These are people’s lives and livelihoods!” tweeted Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY).
GOP strategists were also puzzled by the move.
“The self-owns will continue until polling improves,” said Liam Donovan.