WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) held a conference call with media Wednesday to offer his thoughts on the effort to finalize and approve another COVID-19 stimulus bill.
Reed said he’s holding out hope that negotiators would return to the table to continue to work on a compromise, despite an announcement by President Donald Trump on Tuesday afternoon, when he said negotiations were over until after the general election.
“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” Trump tweeted, adding, “I have asked Mitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.”
However, Trump backpedaled on Wednesday, saying he would support a simple stimulus bill that would only provide a $1200 stimulus paying to all Americans, and/or a measure that would bring relief to the financially struggling airline industry. But Reed explained a simple bill would not be enough to help keep the economy afloat through the end of they year, given the various other sectors that have been struggling and unable to keep afloat, even for another three months.
Meanwhile, Reed added that he was “very concerned” when President Trump abruptly announced on Tuesday that negotiations are over and wouldn’t resume until after the elections take place.
But despite the abrupt announcement by Trump on Tuesday to back out of negotiations, Reed said he thinks both sides are very close to finalizing a deal and hoped they will return to the table to resume negotiations to finalize a package that would contain about $1.7 trillion dollars in new COVID relief. He may have gotten his wish. It’s been reported that both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who leads negotiations for the White House, resumed phone discussions about airline aid on Wednesday. And event President Trump acknowledged Thursday that stimulus negotiators are “starting to have some very productive talks,” just two days after his stunning decision to halt deliberations.