Trump On Stimulus: ‘We’re Ready To Go’
As the battle in Washington over the next round of federal coronavirus aid grows more chaotic—and more confusing—President Trump told Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures that his administration is “ready to go” on the next bill, and that the holdup was because “we can’t get Nancy Pelosi to sign the document.”
Trump was likely referring to a $1.8 trillion offer Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday, which she described in a letter to Democrats as “one step forward, two steps back.”
Pelosi (who has repeatedly said she will not support a plan worth less than the $2.2 trillion package that the House has already passed) said the Trump administration’s new proposal does not include acceptable measures for testing and tracing and lacks adequate funding for state and local governments, federal unemployment insurance, and childcare.
Senate Republicans have also criticized the offer, vehemently objecting to its price tag and potential changes to tax credits that are part of the Affordable Care Act.
The GOP hasn’t been willing to support any legislation worth more than about $1 trillion, and its latest plan only included $300 billion in new spending.
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow—who has not been actively involved in the negotiation process—told CNN Sunday morning that he believes the Senate GOP will go “go along” with a more expensive stimulus bill if the White House and Democrats reach an agreement.
“This past week, the President demonstrated very clearly that he has not taken the war against the virus seriously, personally or nationally,” Pelosi said in a statement on Sunday. “This attitude is reflected in the grossly inadequate response we finally received from the Administration on Saturday.”
On Friday, Trump surprised lawmakers in Washington—again—by claiming that he was in favor of a larger stimulus package than either Democrats or Republicans want. That comment was quickly followed by a clarification from a White House spokeswoman, who said the White House would not be willing to accept a bill worth more than $2 trillion (Pelosi’s current offer is worth $200 billion more than that) though it would be willing to negotiate up from its current position. This isn’t the first time Trump has thrown stimulus negotiations into disarray: in less than a week’s time, he’s called off stimulus talks entirely, said he would support a series of smaller bills instead, and restarted broader talks again.
Kudlow Says White House May Back Stimulus Package Bigger Than Democrats’ Proposal (Forbes)
Stimulus Deal Fading? Pelosi Spurns Trump’s $1.8 Trillion Offer (Forbes)
Trump Claims To Want More Stimulus Funding Than Democrats After Pushing For Less (Forbes)
Stimulus Update: Pelosi And Mnuchin Negotiations Back On, Amid Reports White House Raises Offer To $1.8 Trillion And Trump Hints He Could Go Higher (Forbes)