Is An Economic Stimulus Bill On The Horizon After All? Probably Not

( Maybe the American people will get some economic stimulus relief in the near future after all.

One day after tweeting that he instructed his team to stop negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi until after the November 3 election, President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Congress to send him separate relief bills so he could sign them into law immediately.

The president called for Congress to get together to pass bills that would provide for direct stimulus payments to Americans, economic support to airlines, and more money to be put into the Paycheck Protection Program.

In a tweet, Trump wrote:

“The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approved 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!”

He followed that up with another tweet later in the night that read:

“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?”

To this point, Democrats have mostly balked at separate smaller economic relief bills, saying that they don’t go far enough to help the American people and industries. Will that stance change now that the president has signaled he’s ready to sign off on these separate bills? It’s unlikely.

Talking to reporters after Trump’s series of tweets, Pelosi said:

“Clearly, the White House is in complete disarray. Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress. Walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush this virus.”

Even if none of the president’s back-and-forth tweeting happened this week, though, it was unlikely an agreement was going to be struck between Pelosi and Trump’s chief negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, anytime soon. And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that the Republican-led Senate would still have to approve whatever deal the two struck.

Democrats continue to push for an economic relief package in excess of $2 trillion, saying anything less doesn’t do enough for the country. Mnuchin reportedly countered with a $1.6 trillion offer recently, but the divide between the two sides isn’t just about the total amount of money.

A Republican aide said this week that there’s “a stark difference not just of dollars, but of values.”

Democrats are pushing for billions of dollars in economic support to local and state governments that are hurting bad as the result of lost tax revenue with many businesses shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans have pushed back against this, though, saying it’s a bailout to state and local governments that have been poorly run up to this point.

While both sides seem to agree on providing another round of direct stimulus payments to millions of Americans, they are also divided on other issues, such as the continuation of a federal support to state unemployment benefits.