GOP, Democrats 'very far apart' on COVID-19 relief package

Andrew Cummings
July 30, 2020

Pelosi has repeatedly said that she is against passing a "piecemeal" short-term extension of UI benefits.

Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows have engaged in shuttle negotiations between Senate Republicans, Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to reconcile differences between the $1 trillion stimulus plan the GOP released Monday and the $3.5 trillion package House Democrats passed in May. He said some in his party "don't think that we probably need to be doing anything more at this point" in response to the coronavirus.

The federal government and many state and local governments have imposed temporary bans on evictions, the legal removal of people from their homes when they can not pay rent or mortgages. A moratorium on foreclosures of federally backed mortgages is also set to expire at the end of August, with no agreement in sight. Trump also said he did not want people to get evicted from their homes who have been hard hit by the public health crisis.

"A lot of it has been eroded right now, a lot of people off of work, a lot of suppliers involved in there", he said. "You work on the payments for the people, and the rest of it we're so far apart we don't care". We don't care. We really don't care.

On Capitol Hill, Democratic leaders rejected the idea of a short-term extension of unemployment benefits and the renewal of the eviction ban and blamed Republicans for failing to put forward adequate proposals to meet the crisis.

"They managed to have enough money for $2 billion dollars for the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters that benefits Trump hotel and they say they have no money for food assistance?" said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

"I would hope that all non-Covid related measures are out no matter what bills they were in at the start", he told reporters yesterday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this week referred questions on the provision to the White House. "And our Republican friends don't seem to come close to meeting the moment".

Money for states and cites is a crucial dividing line as local governments plead for help to shore up budgets and prevent deeper layoffs as they incur COVID-19 costs and lost tax revenue in shutdown economies.

The president criticized Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer for seeking a package that includes "big bailout money for Democrats that ran cities terribly". Their cities are going down the tubes.

"It was a request from the administration", Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Tuesday. Democrats proposed almost $1 trillion to avert municipal layoffs, but Republicans prefer providing them with flexibility in previously approved aid.

Pressure on Congress to act is likely to increase as the virus resurges and the impact of the massive USA job losses begin to be felt in U.S. cities and towns.

While warning that a recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases are starting to weigh on USA economic recovery, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that "there is a need for some additional fiscal support".

"High-frequency data is showing that the pace of the recovery looks like it has slowed since mid-June", Powell said in a news conference in Washington.

"The path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain, and will depend in large part on our success in keeping the virus in check", he told reporters.

Trump also wants any legislation to include $1.8-billion to build a new Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Washington.

Plans to move Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters to a new location have been in development for years.

Other reports by iNewsToday