Washington, Oct 7 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to immediately approve sending a second check for $1,200 to Americans as a measure to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic with just 26 days before the Nov. 3 election, in which he hopes to secure a second four-year term.
“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY,” the president tweeted on Tuesday evening. “I am ready to sign right now.”
On Wednesday morning, President Trump added to his push for a stand-alone bill on stimulus checks, tweeting: “Move Fast, I Am Waiting To Sign!”
“Are you listening, Nancy?” he added, referring to Pelosi.
In another tweet, Trump said that “The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business.”
“Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!” the president added.
Meanwhile, Pelosi flatly rejected Trump’s proposal, saying “All the president wants is his name on a check. 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.”
On Tuesday, Trump ordered that all administration negotiations with Congress over a new economic stimulus package due to the coronavirus pandemic be suspended until after the election.
“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,” tweeted Trump on Tuesday afternoon, a message that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging by more than 400 points.
The talks between the White House and congressional Democrats to reach agreement on a new rescue package have stagnated and the latter acknowledged last week how difficult it would be to get concrete results before the election.
Last March, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the US economy hard, Congress approved – and Trump signed – an economic stimulus bill that included distributing $1,200 checks to taxpayers, checks that Trump insisted were to bear his name as, in effect, the payer.
Another element in the March law was an extended unemployment subsidy for independent and contract workers who are not normally covered by such payments. Those payments of $600 per week ended in late July without an agreement between Congress and Trump to extend them.
The negotiations between the administration and Congress on a second stimulus package have become prolonged, with recriminations flying between the two sides, while millions of people remain unemployed and without the financial ability to pay their rent or mortgages.