President Donald Trump said on Friday that he is ready to move stimulus money into a U.S. economy hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, but blamed Democrats for holding up a deal in talks that broke down a week ago.
The Republican-led Senate and Democratic-controlled House of Representatives went into an informal recess after last week's negotiations ended with the parties $2 trillion apart. However, the leaders of both parties said they could recall their members with 24 hours notice if a deal emerged.
At a Friday news conference, Trump said he was prepared to provide Americans with direct payments as well as rental assistance and money for small businesses, state and local governments.
"I'm waiting for the Democrats to approve it," the president said. "Democrats are holding that up, right?"
Aides to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer were not immediately available for comment.
Trump's move came a day after he said he was blocking talks to prevent Democrats from providing more money for the Postal Service or state and local election officials struggling to prepare for Nov. 3 elections during a pandemic. On Friday, he signaled that he might approve funds for the Postal Service.
- Would you be willing to accept the $25 billion for the Postal Service, including the $3.5 billion--
DONALD TRUMP: Sure, if they give us what we want. And it's not what I want, it's what the American people want. So in addition to-- and I just-- I think, John, as part of your answer, I can read this. But in addition to the executive orders that we signed, which are going to be doing terrific things in terms of a payroll tax cut, which is a lot of money coming to a lot of people very quickly, I've directed the Secretary of the Treasury to get ready and send direct payments, 3,400 for a family of four, to all Americans. Democrats are holding this up.
I am ready to have the UST and SBA send additional PPP payments to small businesses that have been hurt by the China virus. Democrats are holding this up. So we're talking about those are two things directly involved. And I'm ready to send more money to states and local governments to save jobs of our great police, our firefighters, our first responders and teachers. It's all ready to go. Democrats are holding it up. So they're holding, Jon, all of that up.
- So if they were to give you that, you would--
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, if they would--
- --sign off on the money--
DONALD TRUMP: --yeah--
- --for the Postal Service?
DONALD TRUMP: --but they're not giving it to me, they're giving it to the American people. I mean, giving it--
- [INAUDIBLE] agree to that.
DONALD TRUMP: --yeah, I would certainly do that. Sure. I would do that.