US President Donald Trump has called an abrupt end to negotiations with Democrats over additional COVID-19 relief, delaying action until after the November election.
This is despite ominous warnings from his own Federal Reserve chairman about the deteriorating conditions in the economy.
Trump tweeted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was "not negotiating in good faith" and said he's asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to direct all his focus before the election into confirming his US Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
"I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business," Trump tweeted.
The unexpected turn could be a blow to Trump's re-election prospects and comes as his administration and campaign are in turmoil.
Trump is quarantining in the White House with a case of COVID, and the latest batch of opinion polls shows him significantly behind former Vice President Joe Biden with the election four weeks away.
Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed Trump's move.
"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 - none of it - matters to him," Biden said in a statement released by his campaign.
Trump's move came immediately after he spoke with the top GOP leaders in Congress, who had been warily watching talks between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi.
Many Senate Republicans had signaled they would not be willing to go along with any stimulus legislation that topped $1 trillion, and GOP aides had been privately dismissive of the prospects for a deal.
Just on Saturday, tweeting from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Trump said, "OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE.".
But any Pelosi-sponsored agreement of close to $2 trillion raised the potential of a GOP revolt if it came to a vote.
Trump broke off talks after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned earlier on Tuesday that the economic recovery remains fragile seven months into coronavirus pandemic without further economic stimulus.
Stocks dropped suddenly on Wall Street after Trump ordered a stop to negotiations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung instantly from a gain of about 200 points to a loss of about 300 points.