After President Donald Trump fueled confusion about his stance on coronavirus relief, footwear leaders said now is the time for officials to act.
As part of an evening tweetstorm, Trump appeared to reverse course on earlier statements he made on the social media platform. Yesterday afternoon, the president said on Twitter that he asked representatives to stop negotiations on the $2.4 trillion stimulus plan, which passed in the House, until after the election.
Hours later, he tweeted that Congressional leaders should “immediately approve” $25 billion to support the airline industry and $135 billion for the paycheck protection program (PPP) to protect small businesses. He also said that he was in favor of a standalone bill for $1,200 stimulus checks and was ready to sign it “immediately.”
While it’s still unclear where Trump actually stands, footwear leaders emphasized that coronavirus relief is crucial to economic recovery — and Congressional officials must act fast.
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“We find it difficult to believe that there is not a deal to be had that benefits Americans in need during this epically challenging year — and is also politically beneficial for both parties,” said Matt Priest, president and CEO of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America. “While President Trump’s announcement that he will no longer negotiate with Speaker Pelosi until after the election might be a negotiating tactic, we call on both sides to find compromise on behalf of the American people and find it fast. Our economy is counting on it.”
AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar said the economy is not something that can be put on hold. “People are suffering today. Now is the time to deploy all the tools in our toolbox – both to attack the underlying health crisis and to provide crucial liquidity and credit relief for manufacturers, brands, retailers, and the workers they support,” he said.
Lamar said that with the holiday season kicking off soon, officials cannot afford to hit pause. “We urge all parties to stay at the negotiating table to craft and pass a comprehensive COVID relief package now,” he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also issued a statement yesterday, specifically addressing Trump’s earlier tweet.
“Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress,” Pelosi wrote. “Walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus, as is required by the Heroes Act. He shows his contempt for science, his disdain for our heroes – in health care, first responders, sanitation, transportation, food workers, teachers, teachers, teachers and others – and he refuses to put money in workers’ pockets, unless his name is printed on the check.”
The stock market opened higher this morning, shooting up 317 points after falling as much as 400 points to end Tuesday trading.