President Donald Trump phoned leading GOP lawmakers on Tuesday to discuss the next round of Covid-19 incentives before finally announcing that he had instructed his top negotiators to postpone talks until after the election.
The president, who had previously relied on White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to lead negotiations, joined the call on his first full day out of the hospital, an administrative official confirmed to CNBC.
Other GOP leaders on the phone included the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, and Mnuchin.
Trump later said Tuesday that he had told his administration negotiators to end talks with Democrats over coronavirus stimuli until after the November 3 election.
The declaration, if carried out by the White House, would stop continued pressure to bring trillions of dollars more to Americans as the outbreak rages in the US and the economy struggles to recover from virus-related stalemate.
Despite leaving Meadows and Mnuchin in command for weeks, the President took to Twitter from his hospital stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday to ask Congress to close a deal.
"OUR GREAT USA WANT AND NEED STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT. Thank you!" he was writing at the time. The president was fired from Walter Reed Monday night and continues to be treated for Covid-19.
House Democrats passed a $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package on Thursday despite both sides battling to reach an agreement. But McConnell and other GOP senators have opposed the legislation as being too big, arguing that if trillions more were to be spent, it wouldn't be worth adding any further public debt.
The most recent deadlock is that the country is reporting tens of thousands of new Covid-19 cases every day and some of the largest U.S. firms are planning new layoffs and vacation days.
In addition to the urgency, the $ 600 a week additional unemployment benefit, federal eviction moratorium, and paycheck protection program loan application window all expired weeks ago.
Politico first reported the news of the phone call.