Washington, Oct 30 (IANS) US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she hopes the current selloff in the US stock market will prompt President Donald Trump to reach a deal with Democrats on the new COVID-19 relief package.
“What the President cares a lot about is the stock market, and as he sees the market react to the spread of the virus and sees the market react to the fact that we do not have an agreement, which could inject resources into the economy. Hopefully now he will come to the table in a serious way to crush the virus,” Pelosi said in an interview with MSNBC.
“And again, this weekend, his chief of staff confessed that they had no intention of controlling the virus. It’s really very, very sad. It’s a total failure on the president’s part,” she said, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.
While it’s unlikely for Congress to pass any relief package before the presidential election in November, Pelosi said she continued discussions with the Trump administration.
“We continue to exchange paper. We haven’t stopped working because the president said it’s going to be until after the election. We need to address the health needs and the lives of the American people,” she said.
Earlier this month, the Democrats-controlled House passed a US $2.2-trillion relief bill, while the White House recently offered up to nearly US $1.9 trillion. However, some Senate Republicans insisted on a figure below 1 trillion dollars.
“I can only say that if we’re negotiating with the president, then it’s up to him to bring aboard the Republican members of the United States Senate, because we’re not going to then negotiate with them,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi’s remarks came as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 943.24 points, or 3.43 per cent, on Wednesday as investors grew concerned over soaring COVID-19 infections and the possible economic consequences.
Economists, as well as Federal Reserve officials, have repeatedly argued that more fiscal relief is needed to sustain US economic recovery, warning of dire consequences if further fiscal support is not provided in time.