U.S. President Donald Trump says he will find a way to make China pay for an American coronavirus relief package worth trillions of dollars but currently stalled in the Senate.
In a similar move, Trump tried to make Mexico to pay for a wall the U.S. is building along its southwestern border. Trump made this campaign promise in 2016. The wall is being built, but with money from U.S. taxpayers. Mexico isn't contributing.
Nevertheless, Trump asserted China would pay the entire cost of the next coronavirus relief package. "We're going to take it from China," he said. "I tell you now, it's coming out of China. They're the ones that caused this problem."
"There's a lot of ways and I'll figure every one of them out. I already have them figured out," Trump said in response to questions about how he would get China to pay.
Trump said he hadn't spoken to China's President Xi Jinping about paying for the stimulus package. Trump said he hadn't spoken to Xi for some time. "I don't want to speak to him," said Trump.
Trump didn't say how much he would be seeking. The White House and Senate Democrats remain staunchly opposed to the $2.2-trillion-dollar package crafted by House Democrats.
Democrats passed this revised amount in their original Heroes Act on May 15. Republicans have opposed it as too expensive. The money is aimed at helping American families and businesses on grounds. Republicans offered a $500 billion alternative which Democrats rejected.
Trump opposes some demands in the updated act championed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). He is against providing federal aid to states whose finances have been affected by spending to control the coronavirus.
"She's asking for all sorts of goodies," Trump said. "She wants to bail out badly run Democrat states and cities. She wants money for things that you would never, you just couldn't, your pride couldn't let it happen."
"We like stimulus, we want stimulus, and we think we should have stimulus, because it was China's fault," said Trump. Last week he said he would support a $1.8 trillion package but later said he wanted more.
Pelosi said while Democrats demanded more money for the most vulnerable Americans, the amount isn't the main issue. Democrats are concerned Republicans will divert the money to support big business. "We want it safer, we want it bigger, we want it better - and it will be retroactive," Pelosi said.
Talks between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows fell apart in late August. Mnuchin and Pelosi were due to discuss the stimulus Thursday.
Mnuchin, however, said it would be difficult for the Senate to approve a new compromise bill before the Nov. 3 presidential election.