White House preparing $1.8tn stimulus bill, days after Trump told his team to delay it until after election

Washington seems to be experiencing whiplash as the president throws wrenches into negotiations on Capitol Hill over coronavirus relief measures

Trump suggests second stimulus check to be included in new coronavirus relief package

The White House was preparing to unveil a new $1.8 trillion stimulus package, according to reports, after President Donald Trump blew up negotiations with Democrats and Republican leaders warned a Covid-19 relief bill was unlikely before Election Day.

US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin was expected to discuss the new aid package with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D—Ca) during a meeting on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported, amid stalled negotiations on Capitol Hill over coronavirus relief.

Mr Trump threw a massive wrench in ongoing discussions between Republican and Democratic lawmakers when he said he was “ready to sign” a “Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200)” in a tweet this week.

He called on Republicans to instead focus all their attention on his Supreme Court nomination, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and ensuring she was confirmed ahead of his re-election bid, before resuming negotiations after the vote.

The president’s tweetstorm caused global stock markets to spin as investors feared the White House was walking away from negotiations to save crucial industries and provide billions in bailout money for everything from airlines to restaurants impacted by national lockdown orders.

His tone changed by Friday however when he posted a statement to his followers: “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!”

The president also said in an interview later that afternoon: “I am going on the exact opposite now...I would like to see a bigger [coronavirus relief] package.”

Ms Pelosi reportedly met with Mr Mnuchin on Thursday, two days after the president was calling for standalone bills to address impacted industries like airlines.

The House speaker has called on Congress to pass a comprehensive package similar to the CARES Act passed 195 days ago.

Since then, much of that initial coronavirus relief has dried up, with some of its initiatives ending for millions of Americans in the coming months.

Enhanced unemployment benefits ended 69 days ago, paycheck protection program applications closed 61 days ago and the federal eviction moratorium will end in less than 100 days, unless Washington were to pass sweeping measures.

The Washington Post reported that the White House was still discussing the $1,200 stimulus payment, as well as potentially reimposing the enhanced unemployment benefits that ended on 31 July, in its negotiations with Democrats.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned a Kentucky crowd that a new coronavirus relief bill wasn’t likely before the November election just as news broke of the White House stimulus bill.

"I'd like to see us rise above that like we did in March and April but I think it's unlikely in the next three weeks," Mr McConnell told the audience, according to the Associated Press. “We do need another rescue package … But the proximity to the election and the differences about what is need at this particular juncture are pretty vast."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in