Meadows Pushes For Piecemeal Relief Ahead Of Crucial Week For Bigger Stimulus Deal


White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday advocated a piecemeal approach to the next round of federal coronavirus aid as top policymakers in Washington struggle to agree on the details of the next round of federal pandemic aid legislation. 

Key Facts

“Even if a large comprehensive bill is not possible . . . let’s go ahead and pass a number of things that we can agree on,” Meadows said in an interview on Fox Monday morning.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also taken this position (telling lawmakers at a September hearing that “we’ve done multiple deals before, we can do multiple deals again”), though he has continued to work with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on a single comprehensive bill. 

Pelosi, who is negotiating the bill with the White House on behalf of House Democrats, has for months been opposed to multiple relief bills. 

She softened that stance somewhat last week as tens of thousands of layoffs in the airline industry loomed, imploring U.S. carriers to delay staff cuts because relief legislation was advancing in Washington. 

Republicans in the House Friday blocked a stand-alone airline aid bill, however, even though Pelosi said she would support it in the absence of a larger package.

Crucial Quote

“The president’s committed to getting a deal done,” Meadows said Monday morning. “But he wants to make sure that we move expeditiously but also in a fiscally responsible manner.” While hospitalized for Covid-19 treatment on Saturday, President Trump urged lawmakers to come to an agreement: “WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE,” he tweeted.

Key Background

Last week, Pelosi said Trump’s firsthand experience with the virus—not to mention the revelation that a number of top GOP officials had also tested positive—“changes the dynamic” of negotiations in Washington. In an interview on Sunday, Pelosi said she and the White House had not yet reached a deal but that they were “making progress.” State and local aid provisions, federal unemployment benefits and certain tax changes are among the increasingly urgent issues still outstanding. 

Further Reading

Pelosi Says No Second Stimulus Yet, Despite Trump’s Push For A Deal (Forbes)

House Passes $2.2 Trillion Stimulus Bill, But That Doesn’t Mean $1,200 Checks And More Unemployment Benefits Are On The Way (Forbes)

Stimulus Update: Mnuchin Says Next Bill To Include $1,200 Checks ‘If There Is A Deal,’ Offers Pelosi $1.6 Trillion (Forbes)

Airlines Could See More Relief Ahead Of Stimulus Deal, Pelosi Says (Forbes)

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