Trump says he'll order unemployment payments if impasse persists

Daniel Fowler
August 8, 2020

The small print of the package deal are nonetheless being debated and it's unclear if Schumer's concept will achieve traction with Trump or his Republican allies in Congress - particularly given it's certain to be an infinite price ticket.

Pelosi and Schumer said they again offered to cut US$1 trillion from the Democrats' US$3.5 trillion proposal if Republicans would raise the top-line number of their plan by US$1 trillion.

Democrats have offered to reduce her nearly one trillion dollars demand for state and local governments considerably, but some of Pelosi's proposed cost savings would accrue chiefly because she would shorten the timeframe for benefits like food stamps. "I will once again make the offer: We'll come down a trillion, you go up a trillion, and then we'll be within range of each other", Pelosi added.

In a letter to colleagues, Pelosi has outlined several other critical differences with Republicans.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that it is Republicans who are "stuck".

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on August 6, 2020.

Democrats also aim to put $75 billion into the testing, tracing and treatment of COVID-19, while the Republican bill includes $15 billion. The Republican proposal has specified $105 billion for that objective; part of that aid would be tied to the schools holding in-person classes. But Republicans wanted to cut it to a lower level.

Pelosi's letter notably did not mention jobless benefits, one of the key provisions in any bill that would have to pass.

With the supplemental $600 in unemployment benefits now officially lapsed, about 24 million Americans say they have little to no chance of being able to pay next month's rent, according to a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. You know, I've been in the White House when the President has slammed the table and walked out.

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Democrats have stood firm on passing a full package of relief.

The compromise, Schumer said, was rejected by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin with "vehemence". Trump later in a news conference in Bedminster, New Jersey, told reporters that the funding would be used for non-pandemic-related reasons, essentially providing a bailout to those locales.

Pelosi and Schumer have pushed for a comprehensive package of assistance for the unemployed, the poor, hospitals, schools, and state and local governments. "And if we can't we can't".

- An extension of the moratorium on tenant evictions.

Both sides admitted the odds of an agreement are uncertain ahead of the Friday deadline President Donald Trump gave, threatening to act via executive order if no legislative deal is possible.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday the White House has completed a draft executive order for Mr. Trump to suspend payroll taxes, but Mr. "At this point, we're going to recommend to the president that over the weekend we move forward with some executive actions".

However, he didn't outright abandon the negotiations, saying he would "back here any time to listen to new proposals" from Democrats.

It means longer and perhaps permanent expiration of a $600 per-week bonus pandemic jobless benefit that's kept millions of people from falling into poverty. The unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, still higher than at the peak of the Great Recession in 2009. He urged the White House to "negotiate with Democrats and meet us in the middle".

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