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Trump threatens executive action if no deal is reached in coronavirus stimulus talks

  • August 07, 2020

Mnuchin indicated he would not come to the table again unless Democrats changed their tune on pandemic relief. He said he and Meadows “will be back here any time to listen to new proposals.”

House Democrats passed a roughly $3 trillion relief package in May, and Republicans last week proposed a bill that costs about $1 trillion. Schumer has said Democrats would not accept legislation that puts less than $2 trillion into the pandemic response. 

Pelosi has indicated that she could cut back spending by making some programs expire earlier than originally proposed.

Democrats and Republicans appear to have come closer to an accord on issues including direct payments of up to $1,200 to Americans and extending a moratorium on evictions from federally backed housing. They have failed to bridge a gulf on how to continue enhanced federal unemployment benefits, help schools reopen safely during the pandemic, and aid state and local governments facing budget shortfalls during the outbreak.

In a tweet Friday, Trump said he had “no interest” in Democrats’ request for nearly $1 trillion in state and local relief. 

“We are going a different way!” he wrote. 

In a letter to colleagues Friday, Pelosi outlined several areas of disagreement. It notably did not mention jobless benefits. 

  • She said Democrats aim to put $75 billion into Covid-19 testing and treatment, while the GOP bill includes $15 billion. 
  • Pelosi wrote that the GOP has offered $150 billion for states and municipalities, far below the $915 billion Democrats proposed. 
  • The speaker said the sides are “a couple hundred billion dollars apart” on money to help schools reopen. Republicans included $105 billion for schools in their legislation. 
  • Pelosi called for more money for food, water and utility assistance than the GOP has proposed. 
  • She said Democrats wanted to secure more concessions on ensuring a complete Census and safe voting during the pandemic.

It would take a massive effort for Democrats and the White House to even reach the outline of a deal soon. But the clock is ticking: the expiration of both the $600 per week enhanced federal unemployment benefit and the eviction moratorium late last month have left millions of Americans scrambling to cover bills and remain in their homes. 

The U.S. added 1.76 million jobs in July despite a resurgence in coronavirus cases that forced many states to pause or reverse their economic reopening plans. The unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, but was still higher than at any point during the 2008 financial crisis.

In a joint statement after the jobs report release Friday, Pelosi and Schumer said the data 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.”

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