President Donald Trump said Thursday morning that talks with Democrats to craft legislation for stimulus aid packages are back on, including a plan to send a second $1,200 check to millions of Americans.
Trump made the announcement during an interview on Fox Business Network on Thursday, two days after he abruptly called an end to talks over COVID-19 pandemic aid because they were going nowhere, he said.
“Well, I shut down talks two days ago because they weren’t working out. Now they are starting to work out. We’re starting to have some very productive talks,” Trump told Fox Business Network.
While Trump seemed optimistic about the prospect of considering individual bills to help certain sectors, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said Thursday morning that she was not willing to consider stand-alone aid packages.
Pelosi told reporters that she would oppose a stand-alone bill to help the airline industry without a commitment by the Trump administration to a broader relief plan.
“We’re happy to review what that stand-alone bill would look like, as part of a bigger bill, if there’s a bigger bill,” she said. “We’re at the table. We want to continue the conversation.”
“There is no stand-alone bill without a bigger bill,” Pelosi reiterated.
United Airlines and American Airlines sent furlough notices last week to a total of more than 32,000 employees as the Payroll Protection Program passed under the first federal coronavirus relief package in March expired.
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin have for the past week been negotiating on aid packages for airlines, small businesses, unemployment benefits and a $1,200 stimulus check that would go to more than 180 million Americans.
Trump said that several aid packages are still on the table. He said he called a halt to the talks because the Democrats had asked for funding for things that had nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re talking about airlines and we’re talking about a bigger deal than airlines. We’re talking about a deal with $1,200 per person. We’re talking about other things,” Trump said.
“But it’s not anybody’s fault. They were trying to get things, and we were trying to get things and it wasn’t going anywhere,” he said. “I shut it down. I don’t want to play games. And then we reopened, and I see the markets are doing well, but I think we have a really good chance of doing something.”
Trump’s plan is to forego an all-encompassing bill and instead get packages directed at specific programs, such as the $1,200 stimulus check, passed.
Pelosi said she would not support a bill just to give the $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans unless it came attached to a broader, more encompassing bill.
“All the president wants is his name on a check,” the speaker told reporters Wednesday. “And that doesn’t — we’re here to honor our heroes, crush the virus, put money in the pockets of the American people beyond a check with his name on it.”
Larry Kudlow, the president’s chief economic adviser, told Fox News that the president was anxious to get targeted assistance to the American people.
“The president believes we should shift into stand-alone bills to get the key points through,” Kudlow said. “These are vital, targeted assistance areas that would strengthen the economy.”
Cox Media Group