Politics

Democrats and Republicans reject Trump's coronavirus stimulus provide, clouding hopes for a deal

Nancy Pelosi and Steven Mnuchin

Reuters

House Democrats and Senate Republicans spoke out over the weekend against President Donald Trump's $ 1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus offer. White House negotiators have now called for a separate vote on small business loans pending the blockade on a larger package.

The White House offer nearly doubles the Republicans' original proposal when talks began in late summer, but is about $ 400 billion below the previously-passed Democratic bill of $ 2.2 trillion, which is what party leaders in Congress are up to makes both sides unhappy.

"That proposal was a step forward, two steps back," House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to her members on Saturday about the Trump administration's stimulus offer.

"When the president talks about wanting a bigger aid package, his suggestion seems to mean that he wants to give or withhold more money at his own discretion instead of agreeing on a language that dictates how we honor our workers, the virus destroy and put money in the EU. " Worker's bags, "said Pelosi.

Congress hasn't passed new aid for months as the virus continues to spread across the country and economic recovery slows.

The White House offering includes: according to NBC News::

State and Local Governments – $ 300 Billion Unemployment Insurance – $ 400 per week through the third week of January and retrospectively through September 12. Business viability protection. Stimulus Checks – $ 1,200 for Adults, $ 1,000 per Child, Vaccines and Healthcare Providers – $ 175 Billion Education – $ 150 Billion Student Loans – $ 25 Billion Food Aid – $ 15 Billion Child Care – $ 25 billion Postal Service – $ 10 billion

Pelosi said the government proposal lacks a strategic plan to contain the spread of the virus and has insufficient funding for state and local governments as well as financial relief for American families.

Pelosi has called for a contract that reintroduces the $ 600 per week additional unemployment benefit that ended in July and offered much more money for childcare than the administration offered.

Senate Republicans also spoke out against the administration offer in a Saturday morning call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, sources told NBC News. They hated the package, said a source. Republicans don't like the price tag and some policies. They questioned what they call democratic demands to provide maximum health insurance subsidies to every new Obamacare participant under an agreement, a source said.

Mnuchin and Meadows said in a letter to Congress on Sunday that House Democrats had not compromised with Republicans on bipartisan legislation. They called for a separate vote on the funding of the paycheck protection program, forgivable loans for small businesses.

"Now is the time we got together and immediately voted on a bill so we can spend the unused paycheck protection program funds while we continue to work towards a comprehensive package," they wrote. "The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people."

Pelosi wrote in a second letter on Sunday that Trump's failure to take the virus seriously was "reflected in the grossly inadequate response we finally received from the government on Saturday." Describing the spending of the White House proposal on virus testing, tracing and treatment as "totally inadequate", Pelosi said Democrats and Republicans "remain at an impasse" on incentivizing legislation until problems are resolved.

As Election Day draws nearer, it's unclear whether Congress will have time to come up with a pandemic relief bill and get it through the Republican-held Senate, which is moving quickly to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Supreme Court.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that a stimulus package "is unlikely in the next three weeks".

Larry Kudlow, Trump's chief economic adviser, said Sunday morning that the president could go "above" the numbers that the Democrats have called for in their stimulus proposal for certain "key goals".

Kudlow also said he thinks Senate Republicans who oppose the White House's $ 1.8 trillion proposal will ultimately vote for a final deal

"I think if an agreement can be reached they will go along," Kudlow said in an interview on CNN of the Senate GOP.

Kudlow also said he doesn't think economic recovery depends on any other economic deal. However, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell warned a few days ago that "too little support would lead to a weak recovery and create unnecessary trouble for households and businesses".

Trump, who cut off talks a few days ago, now said he had changed his position to approve more coronavirus aid ahead of the November elections, telling right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh, "I would honestly see a bigger stimulus package than that either the Democrats or Republicans are bidding. "

White House communications director Alyssa Farah later told reporters that the government wants a package that costs less than $ 2 trillion, which is less than the $ 2.2 trillion proposed by the Democrats.

– CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report

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