President Trump on Monday said Democratic leaders suddenly want to make a deal on a coronavirus relief package after he blew past the stalled negotiations with executive orders to send aid to Americans.
He said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who spent the weekend decrying the executive action as illegal, sent word they want to meet with him.
“So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it. Where have they been for the last 4 weeks when they were ‘hardliners’, and only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly? They know my phone number!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
The talks on Capitol Hill had dragged on for weeks and hit an impasse as the Democratic leaders demanded roughly $3.5 trillion in additional aid, which included billions of dollars to ease the budget crunch in cities and states that was opposed by the president and Republicans.
The Democrats’ demands went far beyond the $1.5 trillion the White House wanted for another round of stimulus checks, an extension of extra unemployment benefits and other emergency spending.
Mr. Trump on Saturday signed executive orders to defer payroll tax collections for workers earning less than $100,000 a year, defer student loan payments and forgiving interest accrued and renewing a moratorium on housing evictions.
The president also ordered a renewal supercharged unemployment benefits, though at $400 a week instead of the previous $600 weekly boost, which was a chief sticking point in the talks with Congress.
Mr. Schumer said the idea that either he or Mrs. Pelosi called Mr. Trump to try to work out a deal was preposterous.
“I didn’t call him. Speaker Pelosi didn’t call him — no, we didn’t call him,” Mr. Schumer said Monday on MSNBC. “He makes these things up where he hears from somebody at one of his fundraisers or at his country club, ‘Oh, the Democrats are calling you’ and he acts like it’s true.”
•David Sherfinski contributed to this report.
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