Tuesday, 21 September, 2021


White House, Democrats remain "trillions of dollars apart" on stimulus talks

White House Coronavirus Talks Make Progress in Bridging GapsMore White House Coronavirus Talks Make Progress in Bridging GapsMore
Patty Aguilar | 29 August, 2020, 22:40

The talks, which also include White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, resumed after a session Thursday night that broke up with little progress made on bridging differences on major parts of stimulus plan, leaving the negotiations on the brink of collapse. In a dear colleague letter sent out during the press conference, Pelosi said that Meadows and Mnuchin offered only $150 billion to Democrats' desired $915 billion in direct aid, an amount she said "would guarantee mass layoffs of health care workers, first responders, transit workers, sanitation and food workers and teachers".

Pelosi said she'd make the offer again Friday to cut the cost of a package to somewhere in the $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion range.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have had multiple meetings over the past two weeks with Schumer and Pelosi, only to come up empty-handed on a deal.

Friday morning's employment report had something for both parties to point to: While the economy added almost 1.8 million jobs last month, the pace of growth slowed substantially and less than half of jobs lost in the early months of the pandemic have returned.

"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".

"Perhaps you missed what I said", Pelosi said when asked what would come next for negotiations.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, has recently warned that the USA economy is at serious risk of sliding back into recession unless Congress and the Trump administration come up with another fiscal rescue package before Congress goes on its August recess. Overall, Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democratic lawmakers Friday, the two sides are "a couple hundred billion dollars apart" on education funds.

Pelosi and Schumer have pushed for a comprehensive package of assistance for the unemployed, the poor, hospitals, schools, and state and local governments. "But again, this a very different set of values across the table". "Senate Democrats can't go south of $2 trillion, so that's what compromise is all about". "We won't let them just pass the Band-Aid, go home and leave America bleeding".

The White House is seeking opportunities to boost Trump, like providing another round of $1,200 stimulus payments and extending the supplemental jobless benefit and partial eviction ban. But some analysts say those gains could evaporate unless states and localities get relief from Congress soon. Others also remain concerned that executive orders would be too limited in scope to deliver the aid the economy needs.

Most members of the Democratic-controlled House have left Washington and won't return until there is an agreement to vote on, but the GOP-held Senate is trapped in the capital.

What to watch: Trump said at a briefing Wednesday that his administration is "exploring executive actions to provide protections against eviction".

"If and when he does it, we'll let you know", she said before departing the stage.

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