President Trump has shut down negotiations for new coronavirus economic relief legislation until after Election Day. The sudden Tuesday announcement triggered a sharp drop in real estate stocks and was met with concern by multifamily trade groups and renter advocacy organizations.
The statement came just hours after the President showed support for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s call for further stimulus and only a few days after he had urged leaders in Congress to “work together and get it done.” Instead, he asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “focus full time” on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
However, in subsequent tweets, the President stated that he was “ready to sign” a $1,200 standalone bill for one-off stimulus checks. Additionally, he suggested the Senate and the House of Representatives should approve $25 billion for Airline Payroll Support and $135 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business out the unused funds from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which went into law at the end of March.
Negotiations for the latest relief deal had already stretched on for months. Most recently, Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill through the House of Representatives at the end of September. Though Senate Republicans had balked at the cost—effectively offering up only $1.6 trillion—Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had agreed to continue discussions. To date, Congress has passed four aid measures related to the pandemic.