Pelosi Says GOP, Democrats Are Far Apart on Stimulus Talks

Andrew Cummings
August 13, 2020

Trump said at the time: "My administration continues to work in good faith to reach an agreement with Democrats in Congress that will extend unemployment benefits, provide protections against evictions".

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued a statement after Pelosi's conversation with Mnuchin, accusing the administration of "refusing to budge".

Talks on a new package broke down last Friday after Democrats offered to reduce their demand for more than $3 trillion in additional aid by about $1 trillion, if the White House agreed to come up by a similar amount from an initial $1 trillion Republican proposal.

"Instead of the Democrats basically saying 'Don't give anybody anything unless we can get exactly what we want, ' the president wants to move forward with a very fair proposal, " Mnuchin said in his Fox Business Network interview.

In his own statement, Mnuchin disputed Democrats' version of events but confirmed - effectively - that talks are dead.

In a statement, he said the Democratic leaders' statement is not an accurate reflection of the phone conversation he had with Pelosi earlier in the day.

Trump's comments came after top Republican and Democratic negotiators traded blame for a five-day lapse in talks over relief legislation.

Mnuchin also made clear Wednesday that the two parties were not in the same ballpark on the overall cost of the bill, which Democrats have said can not be less than $2 trillion.

Until the executive orders work their way through to implementation, the impasse keeps millions of jobless people without the $600-per-week pandemic bonus jobless benefit that has helped families stay afloat, leaves state and local governments seeking fiscal relief high and dry, and holds back a more than $100 billion school aid package.

The provision on unemployment insurance is meant to partially replace the $600 weekly federal benefit that was approved by Congress in March.

The two parties are not in the same ballpark on the overall cost of the bill, which Democrats have said can not be less than $2 trillion. "Even now, Sen. McConnell has said 20 GOP senators won't vote for any more COVID relief", Schumer said, adding Republicans must come back to the negotiating table.

Following the interruption, the president made two historical gaffes in a few seconds, first mistaking the year the Spanish flu began as 1917, and later claiming the pandemic ended World War II, missing the date by 26 years.

Typically, both the Senate and House go on a recess during the month of August. And it looks increasingly possible that there will be no new deal on coronavirus legislation until sometime in September, when an October 1 government shutdown deadline will force legislative action of some kind.

Other reports by iNewsToday