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Democrats and Trump officials had ‘productive’ meeting, but still don’t have a coronavirus relief deal

  • August 05, 2020

Pelosi insisted Monday that she wants to keep the additional insurance at $600 per week, at least until state unemployment rates start to fall. 

“As the unemployment goes down, the number can go down,” she told CNN earlier in the day. 

Unemployment insurance is not the only area where Democrats and Republicans need to hash out differences. Democrats oppose liability protections for corporations. McConnell has said a bill will not pass the Senate if it does not include legal immunity for businesses, doctors and schools.

Democrats have pushed for nearly $1 trillion in aid for cash-strapped states and municipalities. The GOP plan did not include direct relief funds for state and local governments, but would give them more flexibility in how they spend money approved earlier this year. 

Pelosi has also called for more funds to help schools reopen than the $105 billion proposed by Republicans. She has criticized the GOP for tying much of the money to schools physically holding classes in the fall even as the pandemic spreads. 

The sides do agree on the need to send another round of direct payments of up to $1,200 to Americans, Mnuchin said Sunday.

McConnell, meanwhile, took to the Senate floor Monday to contend Democrats have refused to engage in good faith in the talks. 

“The speaker of the House and Democratic leader continue to say our way or the highway,” he said, calling on Pelosi and Schumer to “get serious about making a law.” 

With no deal announced Monday, it appears unlikely Congress can pass an aid bill before next week at the earliest. Meadows sounded doubtful about a quick resolution on Sunday. 

“I’m not optimistic that there will be a solution in the very near term,” he told CBS. 

Republicans, who did not start negotiating with Democrats until days before the extra unemployment insurance expired, have offered a temporary extension while the sides reach a broader deal. Pelosi has rejected offers of a short-term bill, contending Congress cannot combat the outbreak in a “piecemeal” fashion. 

The inability to find consensus comes as the U.S. struggles to contain the coronavirus. The country has now reported nearly 4.7 million Covid-19 cases and more than 154,000 deaths due to the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Meanwhile, the latest monthly jobs report due Friday will show how states dialing back their reopening plans in July affected the job market. 

On Monday, Pelosi again accused her Republican counterparts of lacking the needed urgency to address the crisis. 

“A building is on fire and they’re deciding how much water they want to have in the bucket,” she told CNN. 

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