President Donald Trump is threatening executive actions if a deal isn’t reached with Democrats on a new relief package.
Watch Trump’s remarks in the player above.
This comes after more than a week’s worth of meetings and no COVID-19 response bill.
An exchange of offers was made Tuesday and a meeting devoted to the U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday indicates a long slog remains, but the White House is offering some movement in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s direction on aid to states and local governments and unemployment insurance benefits.
Multiple issues remain, but some areas of likely agreement are coming into focus.
Pelosi is staking out a hard line on extending a $600-per-week supplemental pandemic federal jobless benefit, which lapsed last week.
Republicans reportedly offered to extend the benefit into December and cut it to $400.
Similarly, the White House has offered Democrats $150 billion in new appropriations to help state and local governments alleviate revenue losses from the damage the coronavirus has wrought on the economy.
That matches the amount appropriated after a huge behind-the-scenes battle during negotiations on the bipartisan $2 trillion coronavirus bill that passed in March. Much of that original money is left over, and all sides want greater flexibility in using it, but Pelosi is demanding far more, almost $1 trillion.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., continues to insist that the legislation include some sort of liability shield against lawsuits brought against businesses, schools and universities, and charities that operate during the pandemic.
Pelosi is opposed for now, but Democrats – who see it’s a key to any final agreement – aren’t ruling the idea out.
The competing bills from House Democrats and Senate Republicans include a fair amount of money for non-coronavirus-related items. The Senate proposal contains an almost $2 billion new FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., and $30 billion for the Pentagon.