Pelosi Says Democrats Are ‘Not Budging’ As Second Stimulus Gridlock Wears On

TOPLINE

During a Thursday press briefing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) again brushed off the possibility of further stimulus talks with the White House without major concessions on spending from the Trump Administration. 

KEY FACTS

“We’re not budging,” she said, adding that the White House is “just going to have to come up with more money.”

It’s the latest iteration of an ongoing blame game between top Democrats and Trump Administration officials as each accuses the other of being unwilling to make a deal.

Democrats passed their opening offer, the $3 trillion Heroes Act, in May; the GOP’s proposal released in July was a third that size. 

Democrats have repeatedly said they are willing to reduce their offer by $1 trillion if the White House meets them in the middle for a $2 trillion bill, but the White House has rejected that offer as a “nonstarter.”

The Trump Administration and the GOP are in favor of what Larry Kudlow has called “targeted, sensible help” but are opposed to any government spending that they consider unnecessary. 

Key background

On Wednesday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that his office had reached out to Speaker Pelosi’s staff to restart negotiations. A spokesman for Pelosi’s office later told Politico that while a Meadows staffer had texted to confirm a phone number, there was no mention of resuming talks. 

Big number

1 million. That’s how many people filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department. An extra $600 per week in federal benefits expired at the end of July, and has been replaced by a $300 per week federal benefit that President Trump enacted via executive order after lawmakers were unable to agree on how to extend the original supplement.  

What to watch for

Members of the GOP, who are dealing with major internal divisions and have been largely absent from negotiations between top Democrats and White House representatives, are circulating a “skinny” version of their stimulus proposal—worth roughly $500 billion—that could be released as soon as this week, CNBC reported Wednesday. That bill would include supplemental unemployment benefits of around $300 per week, liability protections for business and more funding for schools, but it wouldn’t include another round of stimulus checks. Given Democrats’ insistence that the next relief package encompass at least $2 trillion worth of spending, it’s not at all likely that the skinny bill will pass the Democratic-led House, even if the GOP passes it in the Senate. 

Further reading

Stimulus Update: White House’s Meadows Says He’s Reached Out To Pelosi To Restart Talks (Forbes)

Kudlow Promises ‘Targeted, Sensible Help’ But GOP’s Pared-Down Bill Isn’t Gaining Traction With Democrats (Forbes)

$300 Weekly Unemployment Payments Are ‘Too Little Too Late’ To Prop Up August Spending, Goldman Sachs Says (Forbes)

Trump Says He’s Ready To Send Out $1,200 Stimulus Checks, Again Blames Democrats For The Delay (Forbes)

Comments are closed.