Pelosi Says Stock Market Plunge Will Bring Trump Back To The Stimulus Negotiating Table


With no new federal coronavirus aid package expected until after the election—if one comes at all—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Wednesday suggested that the stock market’s three-day plunge might encourage President Trump and the White House to return to the negotiating table to hash out a deal with Democrats after November 3, even if Trump is not reelected next week.

Key Facts

During a Wednesday interview with MSNBC, Pelosi said that Trump is “very affected by the stock market” and implied that he cares deeply about the support of the “401(k) crowd”—those voters with an eye on the market and the performance of their retirement accounts.  

Stocks took a major hit this week amid an alarming surge in new coronavirus cases and the rapidly dwindling prospects for more federal aid.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen more than 1,500 points (nearly 6%) since last Friday’s close, and the broader market on Wednesday had its worst day since June. 

Pelosi’s comments came as her camp awaits a response from the White House on a national Covid-19 testing plan—a provision that has slowed negotiations to a crawl over the last week, even though it’s far from the only outstanding disagreement—and the day after the Senate left town for recess until Nov. 9, all but assuring that no additional federal aid can be agreed on or delivered in the immediate future. 

Key Background

Trump has long trumpeted the stock market as a critical indicator of his success in the presidency, often tweeting about “all time highs” in the markets and suggesting that growth in 401(k) retirement accounts is proof of the good his administration has done for average Americans. Trump has also insinuated that a market crash is likely to accompany a Biden presidency: “DON’T RUIN IT WITH SLEEPY JOE,” he tweeted earlier this month. 


Despite the stock market’s rapid recovery (the last three days excepted) since reaching lows on par with the 2008 crisis in March, the broader economy has not fared as well. Unemployment claims have leveled off since the eye-watering highs they reached in March, but experts agree that the labor market’s rebound is cooling with more than 23 million Americans now receiving some form of federal unemployment benefit. The potential for lockdown measures accompanying the surge in virus cases, the arrival of cold weather, and the absence of certain key CARES Act benefits (many of which expired over the summer) could all spell trouble for the economy in the coming months. 

What To Watch For

Both Pelosi and the White House have maintained that they will continue to work on a bill even though it’s too late to deliver aid before Nov. 3. Trump said Tuesday that Americans would get the “best stimulus package you’ve ever seen” after the election, blaming Pelosi for the delay because of what he characterized as a desire to bail out “badly-run, crime-ridden Democratic cities and states.” Trump was referring to Pelosi’s push for additional federal aid to state and local governments, which Democrats say is necessary to stave off government lay-offs and provide critical support to schools. Pelosi has also said she’ll continue to prioritize virus relief regardless of the outcome of the election, even though she’d likely have an easier time passing a bigger package if Democrats control the Senate in January. “The sooner, the better,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper last Sunday. 

Further Reading

Stocks Just Had Their Worst Day In Four Months–Here’s How The Election Could Make Things Worse (Forbes)

45% Of Voters Say Trump And GOP Are To Blame For Stimulus Breakdown (Forbes)

Stimulus All But Dead Before The Election—Here’s What That Means For Struggling Americans (Forbes)

Stimulus Negotiations Stall Over Covid-19 Testing Plan As Cases Surge To Record Highs (Forbes)

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