There haven’t been any negotiations on the coronavirus stimulus package in the past three weeks. But, when some talks did finally happen yesterday, it resulted in nothing. On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had talks on the coronavirus relief package, but made no progress.
The 25-minute phone call on Thursday afternoon between Pelosi and Meadows rekindled hopes of a coronavirus relief package. However, the statement issued by Pelosi cleared that the coronavirus relief package talks made no progress.
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Pelosi, in her statement, blamed Republicans’ reluctance to compromise on key sticking points as the primary reason for the failure of the talks.
“This conversation made clear that the White House continues to disregard the needs of the American people as the coronavirus crisis devastates lives and livelihoods,” she said. Pelosi told that the two sides are at a “tragic impasse” because the Trump administration is unwilling to double their proposal to at least $2 trillion.
“Democrats are willing to resume negotiations once Republicans start to take this process seriously,” said Pelosi.
Even before the call with Meadows, Pelosi told Capitol Hill reporters that she wasn’t too hopeful about the discussion and was entering the talks because Meadows, who represents the President, requested the call.
There were no comments from Meadows about the call with Pelosi. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Thursday that negotiations are in a “stalemate.” However, he remains hopeful of striking a deal.
“We need another one, the country needs another one,” McConnell said.
Proposals so far
This 25-minute call between Pelosi and Meadows is the first real attempt to restart negotiations after the talks collapsed earlier this month. There are growing demands for another relief package as jobless claims hit 1 million Thursday.
Democrats have proposed a $3 trillion HEROES Act in May that includes funds for cash-strapped states, jobless assistance, funds to help schools reopen, funds to support testing, and more. Republicans, on the other hand, proposed a $1 trillion HEALS Act last month.
Since last week there have also been reports that the Senate is working on a new skinny bill that could cost about $500 billion. This skinny bill reportedly includes almost everything, such as unemployment benefits, postal funding, funds for schools and coronavirus testing and more.
However, the bill does not include stimulus checks. Both the HEROES Act and HEALS Act include giving $1,200 in stimulus checks to those earnings $75,000 or less.
Congress will be on recess until September. There is unlikely to be any significant progress on the coronavirus relief package before then. When politicians return next month, they not only have to consider the stimulus package but also the funding measures to avoid a government shutdown.