Trump Ends Stimulus Negotiations
His decision means tens of thousands of workers will lose their jobs in the coming weeks
Months of negotiations between the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were upended on Tuesday when Trump took to Twitter to announce that he was instructing his aides to stop negotiations on a stimulus bill that would have provided the necessary funding to save hundreds of thousands of jobs.
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. 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...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
The bill would have provided funding to save over 30,000 jobs at the United and American Airlines, provided a second round of checks to all Americans, and provided important funding for states, local governments, and schools. The stimulus bill would have prevented layoffs in the airline industry through March of 2021. Without the money airlines that did not layoff any workers, like Southwest, have announced that they are talking to the unions that represent their workers about potential pay cuts or furloughs.
“The airline industry is reeling and has begun furloughing more than 30,000 employees, including thousands of CWA passenger service agents and AFA-CWA Flight attendants,” said the CWA in a statement. “Trump's own economic advisors have warned that without a stimulus bill, our country’s economic recovery will take much longer and create unnecessary hardship for working families.”
Democrats in the House passed a relief bill in May, known as the HEROES Act. It has stalled in the Senate, with McConnell unable to get enough votes to pass even a paired down version. Just hours before Trump sent the tweet, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that more stimulus was needed to help protect the most vulnerable Americans.
In Trump’s announcement, he also said that he would not consider a new stimulus, saying that negotiations will stop until after he wins when he will immediately pass a new bill.
“To every single working person out there: Your president has given up on you,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “America’s labor movement never will. Donald Trump has ordered everyone to stop negotiations on the HEROES Act, which would extend unemployment benefits to millions, implement a strong federal workplace infectious disease standard and provide money to states for critical services. Donald Trump’s ship is sinking. And he wants to take the rest of the country down with him. Working people deserve leaders who will fight for us in the toughest of times; and the entire Trump administration, every Republican in the Senate and all their anti-worker allies have shown us exactly how they feel about working families. They’re willing to let us suffer for political theater. I have never seen such dereliction of duty in my life.”
After receiving significant backlash and maybe getting a new dose of medication, Trump went on another Twitter tirade later in the night, where he contradicted himself by demanding that the House and Senate approve $25 billion for the airlines and $135 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program.