Pelosi says GOP doesn't give a 'damn' about aid

Ruben Fields
August 7, 2020

The $600-per-week federal unemployment benefit expired Friday.

During talks this week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, along with Republican lawmakers, moved to meet Democrats in the middle at a $400-per-week boost. Perhaps this is bluster to get Democrats to make concessions.

"They said, 'No, it has to be mostly in our direction, ' " Schumer said.

The GOP is split over its own proposal, with more than a dozen Republican senators unhappy with spending even more money as the coronavirus tab reaches almost $3 trillion - but they're united in saying the Democrats' proposal is a partisan wishlist and non-starter. That is not the American people I know.

Pelosi on CNBC encouraged Trump to extend the eviction moratorium but added that legislative action to provide money for rental and housing assistance was still needed since a moratorium would be of limited use if people ultimately still can't pay their bills.

The comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at a Capitol news conference revealed Democrats are standing firm for a massive stimulus package, similar to House Democrats' $3 trillion HEROES Act, and have rejected GOP efforts to slim down the response.

Another issue dividing the parties is aid to state and local governments.

COVID-19 outbreaks declared at 2 Metro Vancouver care homes
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the new cases are disproportionately in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal health regions. Two more long-term care homes in Metro Vancouver have now seen outbreaks of COVID-19, health officials announced Thursday.

Mnuchin said Trump, who had called the GOP negotiators three times during Thursday's meeting, is simply not willing to sign a bill "that has a massive amount of money to bail out state and local [governments]".

Maybe this will turn out to be one of those "darkest before the dawn" moments, but as Trump administration officials and Democratic leaders working on the next coronavirus relief package entered what was expected to be a lengthy negotiating session Thursday afternoon, the prospects of a deal looked dim at best. He said Thursday he was preparing to sign executive orders as soon as Friday aimed at addressing his priorities for coronavirus relief.

Pelosi, at one point, suggested the negotiations got heated, comparing Meadows's behavior to that of Trump's a year ago, when Democrats accused the president of slamming the table and storming out of the room during closed-door negotiations over the budget. "I hope that he does", she said.

"It is so clear that we should do something, and we should do something big", she said. "But how long that tunnel is remains to be seen".

President Donald Trump, who has threatened to act unilaterally if Congress does not agree on a further aid package, said he was working on an executive order targeting eviction protections and unemployment benefits.

There had not been any progress to show for the United States fiscal negotiations on Thursday. "If we conclude tomorrow that there's not a compromised position on the major issues, the president has alternatives".

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