Stimulus check update: Trump reverses course, urges Congress to fund $1,200 stimulus check, airline, small business help

Update: 10:55 a.m. Oct. 7, 2020: White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday that he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were actively considering a stimulus measure aimed at distributing checks to Americans while providing aid to airlines and small businesses, according to Politico.

Original story

President Donald Trump, in a reversal of an announcement that he was done negotiating for a coronavirus relief package until after the election, urged Congress late Tuesday to pass several separate stimulus measures saying he would sign the legislation.

The late-night tweet came hours after Trump said he directed Secretary of the Treasury Stephen Mnuchin to cut off talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, over a stimulus package that would cost trillions of dollars.

Around mid-afternoon Tuesday, Trump announced that all negotiations on aid packages would be suspended until after the Nov. 3 election because Pelosi was 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,” Trump said in his first tweet on the subject Tuesday.

“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.”

“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,” he continued. “I have asked 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.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged sharply after Trump’s mid-afternoon tweet.

Mnuchin and Pelosi were negotiating on a bill that would have provided a second $1,200 check to more than 180 million Americans, another round of federal unemployment benefits, money to help airlines and small businesses, funds for COVID-19 testing and money for schools.

Pelosi slammed Trump over the tweet, saying he “showed his true colors” in his decision to halt negotiations over the stimulus bill.

Trump seemed to be done with the idea of a large-scale relief package that included money “to bail out poorly run, high crime, Democrat States,” and instead called on Congress to send him individual bills that would aid airlines, fund another round of stimulus through the Paycheck Protection Program and send $1,200 checks to millions of Americans.

“The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!” Trump tweeted.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Trump’s decision made it clear that he doesn’t care about the difficulties that Americans are going through.

“Make no mistake: If you are out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald Trump decided today that none of that — none of it — matters to him,” Biden said.

Pelosi suggested that a steroid Trump took when he was hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus could be affecting his actions.

“Believe me, there are people who thought, who think, that steroids have an impact on your thinking,” a source on the call said. “So I don’t know. I do practice medicine on the side without benefit of diploma, as a mother and a grandmother, but I hadn’t gone into mental health yet. I haven’t had to do that.”