President Donald Trump pressured Congress to pass a coronavirus stimulus plan Saturday as his administration and congressional Democrats struggle to forge a relief deal.
In a tweet sent as the president receives treatment for Covid-19 at Walter Reed Medical Center, the president wrote, “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS.”
“WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!” he continued.
Trump’s tweet plunges him more fully into the tug-of-war over pandemic aid than he has been throughout weeks of talks between his advisors and Democratic leaders. Republicans and Democrats have failed to inject new money into the U.S. economy and health-care system for months as the GOP worries about runaway spending and Democrats push for a sweeping relief package.
An unexpectedly weak September jobs report, along with tens of thousands of newly announced layoffs and furloughs this week, have added to concerns the boost from previous rounds of stimulus is fading.
Sustained pressure from the president could make some Republicans, particularly in the GOP-held Senate, more comfortable embracing a stimulus deal. On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s diagnosis “kind of changes the dynamic” of her talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin because Republicans will see “this is a vicious virus.”
Writing to her caucus on Friday, the California Democrat wrote that she hoped the sides could strike a deal despite “significant disagreement in key areas.” She added that “we continue to work on the text to move quickly to facilitate an agreement.”
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