Rep. Beyer, who serves as the top House member on Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after President Trump abruptly announced that he would end negotiations on a new economic stimulus package to support the economy and protect American jobs:
“President Trump’s stunning reversal on stimulus negotiations could not have come at a worse time.
“Just as a bipartisan deal to support American families, boost the economy, and fight the pandemic seemed increasingly promising, the President made the bewildering decision to walk away from talks completely. His tweets justifying this erratic about-face misstated Democrats’ compromise position, formalized in recently passed legislation, by hundreds of billions of dollars, showing he is either unaware of what is happening with negotiations or deliberately trying to mislead the country.
“The U.S. economy needs this deal, and last month’s alarming jobs report shows how urgent that need is. Tens of millions of unemployed workers, millions of public sector jobs, and vast numbers of small businesses are on the edge of disaster. Senate Republicans behaved terribly in forcing them to wait for government assistance for months after we passed a robust Heroes Act in May. If they delay a new assistance package months longer, it will imperil the economic recovery.
“Walking away from talks means walking away from protecting schools, walking away from a strong pandemic response, and walking away from American families that need help now. It is hard to comprehend such an irrational, reckless, and destructive act.”
President Trump’s sudden exit from stimulus talks came hours after Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned that failure to pass another aid package could derail the economic recovery. Mass layoffs in airlines and other industries may proliferate without further government spending to support the economy, and an estimated 40 percent of restaurants are on the brink of closure.
House Democrats passed updated stimulus legislation last week with a topline of $2.2 trillion to boost the pandemic response, protect schools, fund and extend enhanced federal unemployment benefits, support small businesses, provide a new round of direct payments to American families, and strengthen the American economy.