Stimulus Update: Donald Trump Tells Lawmakers to 'Stop Negotiating Until After Election' and Focus on Supreme Court Nomination

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he had instructed Republicans to "stop negotiating" for a stimulus check "until after the election." The news rocked the world, causing a nearly instantaneous drop in the stock market and sending millions of Americans into a panic. Given the source of the information and the checks and balances of the U.S. government, it is not even clear how closely politicians will follow these instructions.

Trump tweeted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was "not negotiating in good faith" for a new stimulus check, but was trying "to bailout [sic] poorly run, high crime, Democrat States." He claimed that he, on the other hand, is "looking to the future of our Country." He went on: "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 [sic] Americans and Small Business."

Trump added that he had sent similar instructions to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. However, the president has no official power over the actions of the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate. However, Trump said that he asked McConnell "not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett." As appointing a new Supreme Court justice is a high priority for McConnell, this request will likely be followed.

Trump's tweets were met with outrage from struggling Americans who are counting on more economic stimulus to see them through the coronavirus pandemic. In many cases, they have been counting on it for months, since the U.S. Congress has been at a stalemate on the issue since mid-May.

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Trump's tweets led to a catastrophic drop in stock prices on Tuesday afternoon, within mere minutes, according to a report by CNBC. Meanwhile, journalists in the White House press corps are still trying to learn details about the president's COVID-19 condition, and how he is working safely around his staff. Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs tweeted that "Trump this morning wanted to go to the Oval [Office] today. it triggered a discussion among aides. He's still in the residence right now."

Some speculate that this might account for Trump's heightened activity on Twitter on Tuesday. The president rarely let more than two hours pass between tweets all day, commenting on everything from the election to the pandemic to the TV news coverage of his tweets in real time. So far, his representatives and Republican senators have not spoken out about his alleged instructions on the stimulus package.