Beacon Hill leaders have been hoping for certainty on aid from Washington before proceeding with a state budget and on the eve of another major hearing on the economic outlook, they got a definitive message from the White House.
Infected with COVID-19 and during his first day back at the White House after being released from the hospital, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to say he had instructed his representatives to stop negotiating a stimulus and COVID-19 relief bill until after the election.
“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 very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their request, and looking to the future of our Country,” Trump tweeted.
Saying the economy was doing “very well” and pointing to jobs coming back from pandemic lows, the president predicted he would win reelection and wrote that “immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.”
Congresswoman Katherine Clark said Trump was “walking away” from negotiations and had “abandoned us.”
“Donald Trump does not care about our families or our future,” Clark said in a statement. “By calling off negotiations with House Democrats, he is threatening the jobs of millions of first responders, nurses and teachers. He is blocking critical funding for our schools, child care facilities, and small businesses. And he is withholding money for food, rent, and unemployment assistance to American families. He is deserting the American people during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and instead offering us only chaos and callousness.”
House Speaker Robert DeLeo tweeted his own statement: “President Trump’s decision to halt negotiations to provide aid to states and municipalities is as mystifying as it is hurtful to those who need federal COVID-19 relief. People want help right now, not bluster. The president should reverse this cruel and callous decision.”
Three days ago, Trump fanned the stimulus bill talks, tweeting, “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!”