Joe Biden issued a scathing condemnation of President Donald Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he’s giving up on congressional negotiations over another COVID-19 stimulus package until after the presidential election.
“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,” the Democratic presidential nominee said in a statement.
Hours before Biden’s remarks, Trump tweeted that he was ending negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over the stimulus bill, delaying critical aid to millions of Americans facing financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” the president wrote.
In doing so, Biden charged, the president is abandoning Americans when they need his support most.
According to the former vice president’s statement:
He turned his back on the small businesses that are struggling to keep their doors open. He turned his back on the firefighters and police officers and other first responders who depend on state and local government budgets that are strained to the breaking point. He turned his back on teachers and school children — standing in the way of support to get the PPE and cleaning supplies and ventilation needed to safely reopen schools. He turned his back on every single worker whose job hasn’t come back yet ― and who are left to wonder when they’ll get the break they deserve. He turned his back on families struggling to pay rent, put food on their table, and take care of their kids.
Disagreements over the stimulus package have largely revolved around financial aid to cities and states, liability protections for businesses and the overall cost of the package. The Democrat-controlled House passed a bill last week that, had the Republican-controlled Senate agreed to it, would have spent $2.2 trillion to extend the Paycheck Protection Program, restore weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through January, provide another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, and bolster some of the sectors of the economy that are struggling most.
That was a significant move from the $3.4 trillion that House Democrats had originally sought in the bill. But Trump and Senate Republicans have been unwilling to go above the $1.6 trillion they put across the table.
Biden accused Trump of doing little to reach a deal with Democrats.
“Not once did he bring Republicans and Democrats together in the Oval Office, on the phone, or by Zoom, to get a relief package that would help working people and small businesses in this country,” he charged Tuesday. “Not once in the months since the House passed a relief package in May has he stepped up to lead.”