Despite concessions from White House and Republican leaders, we are no closer to another stimulus bill. Also, at least one Republican leader more than three weeks may pass by before both sides meet again.
Talks once again broke down over the weekend. This happened despite efforts by Senate Republicans to sweeten the deal. They hoped to get the Democrats on board and ready to approve a new stimulus bill.
The latest offer from the White House for $1.8 trillion in relief funds is almost twice what they originally offered. Despite many concessions to Democratic demands, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to do everything she can to hurt American families by refusing to sign on to the package.
Republicans agreed to add nearly $800 billion in relief funds to their original $1 trillion offer. Despite this, however, Pelosi said it still wasn’t enough. She called the latest round of negotiations “one step forward, two steps back.”
“When the President talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold, rather than agreeing on language prescribing how we honor our workers, crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers,” she added.
Naturally, she wants more money for state and local governments. It will sit on her hands and let hard-working families suffer until she gets her bailout money.
A Letter to Congress
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wrote a letter to Congress yesterday. It mentioned that House Democrats simply didn’t show any intention to compromise and pass a stimulus bill. They have asked Congress to vote on a separate bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program funding. This provides loans for small businesses that can be converted to grants if certain conditions are met.
“Now is the time for us to come together and immediately vote on a bill to allow us to 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.”
Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s top economic advisor, said during an interview yesterday that the president is willing to provide even more relief money than what the Democrats are asking for on specific targeted areas. This serves as something Kudlow has repeatedly mentioned in previous interviews.
President Trump, during a radio interview with Rush Limbaugh, said “I would like to see a bigger stimulus package, frankly, than either the Democrats or Republicans are offering.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell has his doubts an agreement can be reached before the November election. He believes this primarily because Democrats are doing everything they can to paint President Trump in a bad light ahead of the elections, even if it means ruining the economic recovery.
“The situation’s kind of murky,” he told reporters. Currently, Democrats continue to try and “elbow for political advantage” as Americans head to the polls in a few weeks.
“I’d like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” he said.