House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democrats and the White House still have outstanding differences over how much to spend on the next COVID-19 relief bill.
Pelosi said she spoke with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for 25 minutes about a relief bill to address outstanding economic issues caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus.
“This conversation made clear that the White House continues to disregard the needs of the American people as the coronavirus crisis devastates lives and livelihoods,” she remarked in a statement. “Originally, House and Senate Democrats made clear we would be willing to cut a trillion dollars if the White House would add a trillion for a bill. In order to meet in the middle, we have now said we would be willing to go to $2.2 trillion.”
Pelosi then said Democrats will resume negotiations with Republicans but suggested that a deal is still far off.
Meadows on Wednesday predicted that there would be no deal on a stimulus package until the end of September, saying that it might need to be combined with a resolution to sustain funding to avert a government shutdown.
Funding to state and local governments, tying school aid to fully re-opening classrooms, liability protections for businesses, and how much weekly unemployment insurance payments should be are the major sticking points for both sies. Democrats have sought nearly $1 trillion in funding for state and municipal governments, which Republicans have termed a “bailout” for “poorly run” jurisdictions and has nothing to do with CCP virus relief.
Democrats also want to extend the $600-per-week added unemployment benefit until next year.
President Donald Trump, in several executive orders, allowed for $300-per-week federal unemployment payments, a deferral on payroll taxes, and other measures.
Meadows and Pelosi are two of the four negotiators who were involved in talks on legislation to help Americans and businesses suffering from a CCP virus pandemic that has now killed nearly 180,000 people. The others are Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
The Democratic-controlled House in May passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill but Pelosi offered to reduce that sum by $1 trillion. The White House rejected the offer earlier this month.
Some Democrats have said they did not expect the White House to resume negotiations in earnest until after this week’s Republican National Convention.
Reuters contributed to this report.