Thursday, July 30, 2020

Democrats Reject Trump’s Push for Short-Term Coronavirus Aid Deal

Photo: Alex Brandon/Associated Press
President says Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on broader talks
Democrats rejected a last-minute push from President Trump to pass a short-term coronavirus relief bill as bipartisan talks faltered ahead of the expiration of enhanced jobless benefits this week.
In remarks Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that if agreement between Democrats and Republicans can’t be reached by Friday, then a stopgap measure should be approved on unemployment payments and evictions while broader negotiations continue.
But that campaign was short lived, with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows concluding after a meeting with top Democrats on Wednesday that neither a narrow, temporary deal or a broader, long-term agreement was near.
“We’re nowhere close to a deal,” Mr. Meadows said. “Enhanced unemployment provisions will expire.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) had rejected previous White House calls for a stopgap measure in the negotiations, insisting instead an overall agreement on a package. Democrats have largely rallied behind their $3.5 trillion bill that passed the House in May.
“We don’t know why Republicans come around here with a skinny bill that does nothing to address really what’s happening with the virus and has a little of this and a little of that. We’re not accepting that. We have to have a comprehensive, full bill,” Mrs. Pelosi said Wednesday.
With a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit set to officially expire on Friday, Senate Republicans were split on the idea of pursuing a short-term deal, with some favoring a comprehensive agreement and others open to crafting a measure more narrow than the $1 trillion proposal the party released two days ago.
“I think it’s gonna be difficult in the short term to get agreement on a larger package, and people need help,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R., La.).
Mr. Trump said a short-term deal should focus on keeping people in their homes.
“You ought to work on the evictions, so people don’t get evicted. You work on the payments to the people,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to Texas. “The rest of it we’re so far apart we don’t care. We really don’t care. We want to take care of the people.”
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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