Coronavirus

Trump rejects Covid-19 relief package

The President tweeted that he will not be passing the second stimulus package until after the election and blamed the Democrats for acting in bad faith.

Trump Rejects Covid-19 Relief Package
WIN MCNAMEE AFP

Donald Trump has tonight refused to sign into law a bill drawn up by House Democrats that would have offered $2.2 trillion of government support for Americans dealing with the financial consequences of Covid-19. The legislation is known as the HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act and would have provided a second round of stimulus checks, but Trump told his negotiators to stand down and focus their attention elsewhere.

The President, who returned to the White House on Monday evening after spending the weekend in hospital, announced his decision in a series of tweets. In the posts he complained that the cost of the proposed measures was too high and would be used to “bailout poorly run, high crime Democrat states”.

President Trump stated that his administration had made an offer of $1.6 trillion but was not willing to go any higher. He also accused Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi of negotiating in bad faith. Negotiations between Pelosi and Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin collapsed in August but hopes were raised by news that the two had held talks in recent days.

What next for the HEROES Act and stimulus packages?

The news will be a kick in the teeth for Americans and businesses hoping for good news on upcoming financial support. The President has rejected the possibility of the new stimulus package being confirmed in the near future and announced that nothing will be done until after the election, when he hopes to pass his own legislation.

In the tweets the President said that part of his reasoning for refusing the bill was to allow Mitch McConnelll, the Senate’s majority leader, to focus on approving Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed as the President’s nominee but the administration faces a race against time to get her confirmed before the general election on 3 November.

By putting off the relief bill until after the election, any hope needy Americans may have had of some financial support in the short term appear to have been dashed, with nothing likely to reach them before the new year if the president is re-elected.

The markets react to Trump’s tweets

With businesses struggling to adjust to the new pandemic reality the stimulus packages offered by governments around the world are a vital resource for those who are struggling. With that financial support now apparently dead in the water, the markets were sent in an instant downward spiral as the news broke.

Within minutes of the tweets the Dow Jones Industrial Avergae fell by over 600 points, and was down by 1.4% as the day's trading drew to a close. This will be a major blow for the President in his bid to be re-elected in November given his focus on his economic success during his time in office. He ended his tweet tirade by insisting: “The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!”