WASHINGTON – In the face of President Trump calling off negotiations for another COVID-19 relief and stimulus package until after the elections, Congressman Tom Reed called on Trump and lawmakers to return to negotiating to reach an agreement.
Reed, joined by Congressman Josh Gottheimer the co-chair of his Problem Solvers Caucus, said in a joint statement that families and small businesses cannot afford more delays in receiving financial help.
“American families and America’s small businesses are hurting and cannot afford more delays — especially when a deal is within reach. The 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans of the Problem Solvers Caucus have already crafted a bipartisan framework for relief that has been widely supported, including by the Administration,” the statement said.
“We cannot overstate how important it is that leaders in both parties — along with the President — return to the table and agree on a package that will provide immediate relief to families and businesses. Inaction is not an option,” they said.
On Tuesday, Trump called an end to negotiations with Democrats over additional COVID-19 relief, delaying action until after the election.
Trump said 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.
“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.
A few hours later, Trump called on Congress to send him a “Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200).”
The President called for Congress to immediately approve $25 billion for airlines and $135 billion the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses. As expected, Former Vice President Joe Biden took aim at Trump’s move.
“Make no mistake: if you are out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald Trump decided today that none of that — none of it — matters to him,” Biden said in a statement released by his campaign.
Trump’s move came immediately after he spoke with the top GOP leaders in Congress, who had been warily watching talks between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi. Many Senate Republicans had signaled they would not be willing to go along with any stimulus legislation that topped $1 trillion, and GOP aides had been privately dismissive of the prospects for a deal.