Trump halts COVID-19 relief talks until after election

Trump tweeted that he’s asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to direct all his focus before the election into confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he has instructed aides to stop negotiating on another round of COVID-19 relief until after the election.

Trump tweeted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “not negotiating in good faith” and said he’s asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to direct all his focus before the election into confirming his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.

Read More: ‘An embarrassment’: Trump tweet angers pandemic survivors

“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,” Trump tweeted.

Last week, the White House said it was backing a $400 per week pandemic jobless benefit and dangled the possibility of a COVID-19 relief bill of $1.6 trillion. But that offer was rejected by Pelosi.

n this image provided by the White House, President Donald Trump listens during a phone call with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (Tia Dufour/The White House via AP)

Trump broke off talks after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned earlier Tuesday that the economic recovery remains fragile seven months into coronavirus pandemic without further economic stimulus.

Stocks dropped suddenly on Wall Street after Trump ordered a stop to negotiations.

Read More: Trump says ‘maybe I’m immune’ while still battling virus

The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung instantly from a gain of about 200 points to a loss of about 300 points.

Powell, in remarks before the National Association for Business Economics, made clear that too little support “would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.”

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