White House sends mixed signals on stimulus as Pelosi announces opposition to latest White House proposal
WASHINGTON - The White House sent more mixed signals on Sunday for a COVID-19 stimulus plan as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the White House's latest $ 1.8 trillion stimulus offer.
In a letter to the House Democrats sent on Saturday, Pelosi called the government's proposal "one step forward, two steps back" in its negotiations on Friday, but said it would "remain hopeful" that both sides could become one Come to an agreement.
And on Sunday, Pelosi said to House Democrats: "We are sticking to an impasse in the economic negotiations" until both sides have worked out, among other things, the total amount of funds to fight the pandemic and a COVID-19 test plan.
The White House, on the other hand, appeared to both be pulling out of dealmaking while still expressing a willingness to hit one.
Trump said "Republicans want to do it" on Fox News Sunday, citing Pelosi as an obstacle. National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said Sunday that CNN State of the Union Republicans would “go along” if a deal was made, even though Senate Republicans were previously unwilling to pay too much for an aid deal to spend.
Kudlow also said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin could "move up" the government's position from its current $ 1.8 trillion offer, although the higher the price, the fewer Senate Republicans are likely to accept a deal. Senate Republicans' stimulus proposals ranged from about $ 1.1 trillion in a July proposal to $ 300 billion in a "targeted" proposal that was blocked by Senate Democrats in mid-September.
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Later on Sunday, Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows penned a letter calling on members of Congress to pass laws authorizing the re-use of unused funds from a lending program.
"The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response from the American people," they wrote.
The back and forth over stimuli comes as many of the benefits previously approved by Congress have already been exhausted. The $ 600 increase in unemployment benefits expired in July, a small business loan program expired, and airlines face mass layoffs and vacations after their billion dollar payroll support on Jan. October has expired. Congress has not passed a comprehensive relief package since March.
Neel Kashkari, president of the US Federal Reserve of Minneapolis, warned in an interview with CBS "Face the Nation" on Sunday of a "dragging, very slow recovery with thousands of small businesses across the country going bankrupt" without "further support" by the legislature.
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The White House's recent $ 1.8 trillion offer is still smaller than the Democrats' $ 2.2 trillion offer that Trump rejected last Tuesday. Trump said Tuesday he wanted to postpone all negotiations until after the November elections, but since then he has reversed course, pushed for stand-alone bills to send out stimulus checks and relieve airlines, and resumed discussions on a comprehensive stimulus plan.
Trump appeared to undercut his administration's negotiations on Friday afternoon, telling Rush Limbaugh in an interview: "Frankly, I would see a bigger stimulus package than either the Democrats or the Republicans are offering."
White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah told reporters later Friday that the government wanted to "stay below 2 trillion".
Any deal negotiated, however, has to go through the Republican-controlled Senate, where members are reluctant to spend trillions of dollars on COVID-19 aid.
At an event in Kentucky last Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was "unlikely" that a stimulus agreement would take place before the election.
Although the House Democratic leadership has rejected the White House's latest proposal, some progressives seem intent on reaching an agreement. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., A member of the Progressive Caucus of Congress, tweeted Sunday that $ 1.8 trillion is already a "significant" sum. He wrote on Twitter, "Get a deal and put the ball in McConnell Court."
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: COVID-19 Relief: White House Message Unclear, Pelosi Rejects GOP Plan
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