WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ President Donald Trump is changing course after calling off negotiations with the Democrats for the next round of COVID-19 relief via Twitter Tuesday evening.
Several lawmakers were outraged with Trump’s initial decision to halt COVID-19 relief talks until after the Nov. 3 election.
Rep. Jim Langevin, D-Rhode Island, said prior to Trump’s decision, negotiations were progressing.
“This isn’t a game,” Langevin said.
Trump tweeted Tuesday accusing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, of “not negotiating in good faith” and asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to direct all of his focus before the election into confirming his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, said by stopping the negotiations, the president has abandoned the American people.
“It is unconscionable…the president should have never walked away from the table,” she said. “Not when there were serious deliberations and negotiations going on.”
Rep. David Trone, D-Maryland, said a major sticking point remains on how they will help the states and local governments.
“America is hurting,” he said. “The count of deaths is unbelievable…do too little on additional stimulus, or nothing, is a greater danger than doing too much.”
Trump appeared to change course later in the evening, tweeting that if he received a “Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks” he would sign it immediately.
“I am ready to sign right now,” the president wrote. “Are you listening Nancy?”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said COVID-19 relief must be targeted.
“We’re looking at the potential for stand alone bills there’s about 10 things that we agree on,” Meadows said.
Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, said he needs to know what’s in those bills before he can throw his support behind them, and that Senate Republicans already put their offer on the table.
“We proposed a second bill that was $500 billion and every single solitary Democrat voted against it,” Kennedy said.
The last House proposal was four times larger than what Senate Republicans believe is necessary.