President Donald Trump came up with executive orders over the weekend on enhanced unemployment benefits, payroll tax cut, an eviction moratorium and student loan relief. Trump, a few days back, also suggested that he is open to talks on the next relief package. However, on Wednesday, Trump appeared pessimistic, suggesting there may be no coronavirus relief package.
No coronavirus relief package: Trump
In a news conference on Wednesday, Trump criticized the Democrats’ relief proposal for their demands of “ridiculous things.” Trump noted that such provisions are responsible for the differences between the two sides during two weeks of negotiations, which eventually collapsed last week.
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“The bill’s not going to happen because they don’t even want to talk about it, because we can’t give them the kind of ridiculous things that they want that have nothing to do with the China virus,” Trump said at the White House news briefing.
Trump’s comments came just hours after attempts to restart negotiations failed. On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for the first time since the collapse of the talks last week.
After the talks with Mnuchin, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer issued a statement accusing the administration of “refusing to budge.” Further, the statement said that Democrats have compromised, referring to the $1 trillion compromise that they are willing to make to reach a deal.
“However, it is clear that the administration still does not grasp the magnitude of the problems that American families are facing,” the statement said.
Later, Mnuchin also issued a statement blaming Pelosi of mischaracterizing their conversation. He also said that Democrats “have no interest in negotiating.”
“Her statement is not an accurate reflection of our conversation,” Mnuchin said, adding that Pelosi made it clear that she is “unwilling to meet to continue negotiations” until Republicans agree to a proposal of at least $2 trillion.
Both sides unwilling to budge
Both sides have differences on several points, including the cost of the package. Democrats, who were initially asking for $3 trillion for the HEROES Act, now want the relief package of at least $2 trillion. Republicans, however, have said that $2 trillion is too high.
With no negotiations taking place, it is likely that there would be no coronavirus relief package at least this month. The House is out of session. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, delayed the scheduled August recess in hopes of a vote on a coronavirus relief bill, but there are only a few senators in the Capitol and negotiations are also not moving forward.
All this seems to suggest that there may be no coronavirus relief package until September. Hopefully, at that time, the October 1 government shutdown deadline would push the negotiators to come up with some kind of legislative action.
When Pelosi was asked the same thing, she said, “I hope not, no. People will die.”