Trump Says Pelosi, Schumer Want to Meet on Pandemic Relief Bill

August 10, 2020 Updated: August 10, 2020

President Donald Trump on Aug. 10 said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, want to meet with him to make a deal on COVID-19 relief measures.

Last week, talks between the White House, Schumer, and Pelosi broke down after meeting for consecutive days. Democrats proposed a roughly $3 trillion bill to address economic issues incurred during the pandemic, while Republicans last month unveiled a $1 trillion bill.

“So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal,” he wrote on Twitter. “Amazing how it all works, isn’t it. Where have they been for the last 4 weeks when they were ‘hardliners,’ and only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly? They know my phone number!” He appeared to be referencing statements from Pelosi and Schumer over the weekend on the necessity to continue talks on a broader relief bill.

Trump over the weekend issued several executive orders to extend a federal unemployment program that was authorized under the CARES Act, with $400-per-week payments instead of $600. Republicans in the Senate had sought $200-per-week payments in the HEALS Act.

Other executive orders deferred a payroll tax, which funds Medicare and Social Security, on Americans earning less than $100,000 per year, authorized eviction protections from homeowners and renters, and issued a moratorium on student loan payments.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump signs the Great American Outdoors Act during a singing ceremony in the East Room of the White House on Aug. 4, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Pelosi and Schumer, in weekend interviews, said that their party needs to “reach an agreement” with the White House on a pandemic stimulus measure. “We’ve got to meet halfway. We’ve got to do the best we can for the American people. But what they’re putting forth does not meet that standard,” she told Fox News.

Among the most controversial issues is whether to provide funding for state and local governments. Republicans and the White House said they want to propose no aid, with Trump in recent weeks saying that it would be essentially a “bailout” of “poorly run” localities. But Schumer and Pelosi have pushed for about $1 trillion in their HEROES Act, passed in the Democrat-controlled House in May.

State and local governments, Pelosi said, “have expenses from the coronavirus. They have lost revenue. Because of that, they are firing health care workers, first responders, teachers, and the rest, sanitation, transportation, because they don’t have the money.”

Schumer, in an interview with ABC News, said more needs to be done.

“We have this huge crisis, the largest economic crisis since the depression, the greatest health crisis since the pandemic,” he said. “The event at the country club is what Trump does, a big show but it doesn’t do anything, as the American people look at these executive orders they don’t come close to doing the job.”