Trump says coronavirus relief negotiations are back on and floats $1,200 stimulus checks just 2 days after pulling the plug on talks
MANDEL NGAN / AFP via Getty Images
Trump said broader coronavirus relief talks only resumed two days after it suddenly ended.
"Now they're starting to train, we're starting to have some very productive conversations," he said in an interview with Fox Business.
Mnuchin and Pelosi have discussed a separate law to bail out the aviation industry, and the speaker has already opposed direct payments as a standalone measure.
Pelosi said the Democrats are still aiming for a broad economic aid package.
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President Donald Trump and House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi both said broader business stimulus talks resume Thursday, just two days after President Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin abruptly ordered Steven Mnuchin to end negotiations with Democrats.
"Well, I cut the talks two days ago because they didn't work out," Trump said during an interview on Fox Business. "Now they're starting to train, we're starting some very productive conversations."
Pelosi and Mnuchin recently started negotiations on more government support to airlines after a payroll support program that both parties support expired last week.
United and American are laying off 32,000 workers in the coming weeks, along with other large companies. It has put pressure on the Trump administration and Democrats to strike a deal. Pelosi seemed open to expanding the program.
During a weekly press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday, the spokeswoman said she and Mnuchin were still in discussions.
"We told the White House that we were sitting at the table ... We want to continue the conversation," said Pelosi. "We've made some progress, we're exchanging languages, so we'll see how we connect."
The president also said other issues were on the table in the negotiations, such as another round of $ 1,200 in direct payments to American taxpayers.
"We're talking about airlines and we're talking about bigger business than airlines. We're talking about $ 1,200 per person business, we're talking about other things," Trump told Fox Business.
Read more: Trump's political chief explains in an exclusive interview why the White House has just closed a deal with coronavirus stimuli
He added that he believes Pelosi "wants it to happen because it's so good for our country that we really need it".
The president's remarks could signal an interest in resuming talks on a larger coronavirus aid package, which he turned on its head with a series of tweets on Tuesday. It sparked criticism from some Republican senators and lawmakers, who urged him to reconsider the move.
Trump has since asked Congress to pass small business aid, $ 1,200 direct payments, and airline assistance through standalone bills.
Pelosi combined any further aid to the airlines with a larger economic aid package. She said Democrats won't support laws that don't also help states, unemployed people, and money for virus testing and tracking.
"There is no separate invoice without a larger invoice," she said.
Pelosi and Mnuchin will speak again Thursday, according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill. A spending deal between $ 1.6 trillion and $ 2.2 trillion was considered. It would include a second round of direct payments, federal unemployment benefits and additional public health funds, among other things.
It remains unclear whether a major economic aid law could gain enough political support to become law in the face of significant disagreements on a number of issues such as the level of spending. There is also very limited time left in the legislative calendar before the November 3rd elections.
The California Democrat has already opposed the idea of a separate $ 1,200 direct payments bill unless it is part of a larger package.
"The president just wants his name on a check," Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday. "We're here to honor our heroes, wipe out the virus and put money in the pockets of the American people without a check with his name on it."
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