Thursday, August 6, 2020

Coronavirus Relief Deal Inch Closer; Trump Campaign Urges Facemasks While Out-and-About, and Other C-Virus Updates

Congressional Democrats and the White House again met Wednesday, hoping to hash out their differences on another coronavirus relief package and come to an agreement by the end of the week to quickly rush funds to millions of unemployed Americans stuck in financial limbo after a $600 weekly enhanced unemployment benefit expired Friday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to find a compromise between Democrats' $3 trillion proposal and a $1 trillion Republican package.
The four have met nearly every day for more than a week, but movement toward a deal has been sluggish as both sides dug in their heels on some of the biggest sticking points, including the unemployment benefits and additional funds for state and local governments that have had their revenue gutted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday, negotiations opened a new chapter as the group met with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to discuss emergency funding needs and issues hampering the performance of the U.S. Post Office, which has seen mail delivery delays that have led to fears about mail-in ballots for the election in November.
After the meeting concluded, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters the negotiators had a "heated discussion" with the Postmaster General, adding he and Pelosi did not find his responses to questions about ensuring the integrity of voting by mail to be satisfactory.
Both sides signaled on Wednesday that although they remained far apart on core issues, the hope was to come to a deal by the end of the week, so a bill could pass next week. Democrats and White House negotiators made a number of concessions, hoping to break the logjam and make progress on a compromise.
Mnuchin and Meadows told Republicans at a closed-door lunch Wednesday that they may halt talks if an agreement is not made by Friday, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said. "At some point, you have to set a deadline or just continue this Kabuki dance every day, and nobody wants to do that," he said.
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Trump campaign email urges supporters to wear facemasks

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