President Donald Trump killed talks for a new federal bailout package Tuesday after congressional Democrats refused to work with Republicans on any kind of compromise.
“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. “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 generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith.”
Whether an agreement was ever likely to be reached remains an open question. House Democrats opened talks for another round of massive deficit-funded bailout spending with a more than $3 trillion proposal in May, only to be countered by Republicans with a proposal for $1 trillion. Each side, therefore, started talks miles apart, and getting Democrats to come down at all from their prohibitively expensive plan as the nation’s economy decays on continued lockdown was like pulling teeth for Republicans. The first round of coronavirus spending provided in the CARES Act expired at the end of July.
While the announcement by the president came to some congressional leaders as a surprise, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “I do” when asked whether he supported Trump’s decision.
“I think his view was that they were not going to produce a result and we need to concentrate on what’s achievable,” McConnell told CNN.
The president’s announcement also comes days after the September jobs report. Unemployment fell to 7.9 percent with 661,000 jobs added, signaling the beginning of a recovery. It also signals that what is hurting the economy is not the need for trillions more from future taxpayers but an end to the lockdowns so Americans can get back to work rebuilding after the coronavirus disaster.
More worrisome for the nation’s long-term economic health are the swell in permanent job losses rising faster than the last two recessions. While temporary jobs have begun to come back, businesses nationwide are still going out of business, permanently taking jobs with them.
There are now in US 2.5 million more people who have lost their jobs permanently than there were in February. The number of people who lost their jobs permanently was higher in September since May 2013. The 7-month increase in permanent job losses was the highest since May 2009 pic.twitter.com/QZpESQ5FdR
— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) October 2, 2020