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‘I Don’t Want To Play Games’: Trump On Why He Broke Off Stimulus Talks With Pelosi

President claims talks about $1,200-per-person stimulus checks back on
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 13: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during a news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center August 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. Pelosi highlighted the differences between House Democrats and the Trump Administration in their negotiations over coronavirus relief legislation, saying, "We're miles apart in our values." (Photo by
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said he shut down stimulus negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other House Democrats on Thursday because he didn’t “want to play games.”

“They were trying to get things, we were trying to get things, it wasn’t going anywhere,” Trump told “Mornings with Maria” host Maria Bartiromo on Fox News. “I shut it down. I don’t want to play games.”

But the president said relief for Americans hurting financially amid fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic could still be revived.

“We are starting to have very productive talks,” Trump said, adding that Pelosi “wants it to happen, too. She doesn’t want it not to happen. I believe she wants it to happen because it’s so good for our country.”

Trump claimed talks about an airline bailout, as well as $1,200 payments to millions of Americans, are back on. But he again blamed Democrats for the gridlock. “It wasn’t workers’ fault. It wasn’t our airlines’ fault. China did this terrible thing to us. I will not be forgetting about that,” he said. “We should not hurt workers. … This was a horrible scourge.”

Congress passed a multi-trillion-dollar stimulus package in March and another two months later, but individual Americans have gotten only a single $1,200 check. In recent weeks, Pelosi has been meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, but they could never settle on a compromise.

House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion aid package last week — down from their first $3.4 trillion bill — but the Trump administration and Republicans countered with a $1.6 trillion plan. Pelosi rejected that proposal as “inadequate” — so passed nothing.

Trump said Wednesday that he had a plan to cut through all the red tape.

“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

Trump had another message for Pelosi: “Move Fast, I Am Waiting To Sign!” he tweeted.

Trump on Tuesday said Pelosi was never serious in her negotiations.

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left Democrats were just playing ‘games’ with the desperately needed Workers Stimulus Payments. They just wanted to take care of Democrat failed, high crime, Cities and States. They were never in it to help the workers, and they never will be!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Democrats blamed Trump for the gridlock.

“Make no mistake: if you are out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald Trump decided today that none of that … matters to him,” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said.

Under the first stimulus bill Congress, individuals were eligible for payments up to $1,200. Married couples with combined incomes up to $150,000 were eligible to receive $2,400, and families also got $500 per dependent child under the age of 16.

Approximately 120 million U.S. taxpayers qualified for direct payments from the federal government under the bill.

Related: ‘Are You Listening, Nancy?’: Trump Vows Immediate $1,200 Check To Americans If Speaker Moves Bill

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