Pelosi, Schumer Say Trump Administration Declined $2 Trillion Pandemic Deal

Marco Green
August 7, 2020

Another issue with the president's executive orders is that he has to fund them with money that has already been approved by Congress. Kudlow suggested on Friday that they could use leftover funds from the CARES Act, though that would like be less than the $1 trillion originally proposed by Republicans.

It's also unclear - after 10 meetings that have resulted in no agreement - if the four principal negotiators - Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer for the Democrats and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin - will sit down again on Friday for one last try. President Donald Trump called into the meeting several times but they weren't able to come to a resolution.

White House negotiators made some concessions on jobless benefits and aid to state and local governments in a Tuesday session - and then promptly got scalded by Republicans after details leaked out.

Mnuchin said that Trump would issue executive orders on unemployment and other benefits if they decide on Friday that negotiations won't go anywhere, according to The Washington Post.

'These executive orders, which will leave most people out, will not cover the broad expanse of what's needed, will be litigated in court and be awkward and hard to implement.

"His positions are quite hardened and non-compromising, more so than Mnuchin", Schumer said.

"We're very far apart".

Pelosi said that Meadows "slamm (ed) the table and walk (ed) out" of the meeting, but Meadows denied that happened, according to Nicholas Wu, a reporter from USA Today. But there's no evidence that the strategy would have much impact or be anything close to what's necessary, and Pelosi appeared unimpressed at a morning news conference.

"Yesterday I offered to them, we'll take down a trillion if you add a trillion in", Pelosi said.

Schumer said Republicans "rejected" their offer "entirely".

"They want to pinch pennies". That's what guides us.

"The latest jobs report shows that the economic recovery spurred by the investments Congress has passed is losing steam and more investments are still urgently needed to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people", Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

Both sides admitted the odds of an agreement are uncertain ahead of the Friday deadline President Donald Trump gave, threatening to act via executive order if no legislative deal is possible.

Congress has spent weeks tussling over an approximately $1 trillion proposal from the Republican-controlled Senate and a more than $3 billion package put forward by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. "You should've seen their faces, 'absolutely not.' I said, 'you mean you want it to go nearly all in your direction or you won't negotiate?' and they said, 'yeah'".

Pelosi said Democrats want the biggest possible number for reviving an expired federal payment to the unemployed that had been $600 a week. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa. A worse than expected report could hasten them to a conclusion.

Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of ME, and Martha McSally of Arizona introduced a bill on Wednesday that would allow states to either give a $400 or $500 check per week in August in unemployment and scaling down the payment in September to $400 per week, according to CNBC.

Senate Republicans and Democrats have disagreed on the second coronavirus relief bill and how much it should cost.

Meadows said Trump may go through with taking executive action after "coming to the realization that perhaps some of our Democrats both in the House and Senate are not serious about compromise and are not serious about trying to meet the needs of the American people".

Congress passed more than $3 trillion in relief legislation early in the pandemic.

Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, criticized his fellow Republicans for considering the HEALS Act Wednesday, saying he wouldn't vote for it. "Republicans and Democrats compromise every day of the year to spend money we don't have", Paul said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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