Trump ends COVID-19 negotiations with Congress until after election
President Donald Trump today announced that he has instructed his staff to stop negotiations with Democrats on a coronavirus aid package until after the election. His decision effectively ended the possibility that there will be aid to ethanol plants and livestock producers who had to kill their animals or an increase in benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Trump made the announcement in a series of tweets in which he said “the economy is doing very well.” He also urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to “instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 300 points on the news, MarketWatch reported.
A spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said, “President Trump is slamming the door on relief for millions of Americans struggling during this crisis and barreling ahead with a plan to rip away health care protections during a deadly pandemic. If House Republicans won’t demand that President Trump restart negotiations, they’re admitting that they will obediently follow President Trump in blocking desperately needed (aid) for families and small businesses struggling through once-in-a-generation health and economic crises.”
Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, said, “President Trump just suddenly, unilaterally halted negotiations to provide aid to desperately struggling families and small businesses in all 50 states. It is especially egregious that he thereby halted billions more in food aid to hungry Americans, completely ditching the life-saving food nutrition provisions already passed twice by the House. As a result of this Trump tantrum, more Americans will go hungry and more small businesses will go under. This is a heartless dereliction of duties.”
Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have introduced a bill to double USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program funding.