President Donald Trump said he wants Congress to work on a pandemic stimulus package in the midst of hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
“Personally, I would pull back, approve, and go for STIMULUS for the people!” he wrote on Twitter, adding that the Democrats are only making “self serving statements relative to our great new future Supreme Court Justice.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has offered a package worth $1.8 trillion, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has stuck to her offer of a $2.2 trillion deal.
On Sunday, he and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows called on Congress to pass a bill that would enable the usage of billions of dollars in leftover Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds. The PPP was authorized under March’s CARES Act.
“Over the last few months,” Mnuchin and Meadows wrote, “we have tried to work on a bipartisan basis to pass additional legislation.” They reiterated that their bills are intended to provide funding for testing, vaccines, medical care, schools, small businesses, airlines, extra unemployment benefits, and provide “direct payments to American citizens.”
They both said that the House, which is controlled by Democrats, “passed two separate partisan stimulus bills,” instead of coming to a compromise with the White House and Republicans.
“When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold, rather than agreeing on language prescribing how we honor our workers, crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers,” she wrote.
Pelosi added: “At this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities, and Democrats are awaiting language from the administration on several provisions as the negotiations on the overall funding amount continue.”
The new White House package was higher than an earlier $1.6 trillion Mnuchin offer and closer to the $2.2 trillion the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed last week. White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said the administration wanted to keep spending below $2 trillion but was eager to enact a fresh round of direct payments to individuals as well as aid for small businesses and airlines.