Negotiators for the White House and congressional Democrats were expected to resume efforts at 1 p.m. Friday (Aug. 7) to reach a deal that would lead to a second round of economic stimulus payments.
Today’s scheduled talks follow a three-hour Thursday night session that CNBC described as “dismal.” If all the parties reach an agreement today, the full House and Senate likely would vote on a measure next week. Payments could follow shortly thereafter.
CNBC quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as saying Thursday: “We have always said that the Republicans and the president do not understand the gravity of the situation and every time that we have met, it has been reinforced.”
The network quoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as saying in advance of today’s scheduled meeting: “If the Democrats are willing to compromise and do something, I think we’ll get something done.”
The Democrat-controlled House approved a $3.5 trillion spending package. The Republican-controlled Senate approved roughly $1 trillion.
A key sticking point, Bloomberg reported, is aid to local governments, with Democrats wanting more than $900 billion and Republicans wanting less than $200 billion.
On Thursday, President Trump again threatened to do an end-run around Congress if he deems it necessary, tweeting, “Upon departing the Oval Office for Ohio, I’ve notified my staff to continue working on an Executive Order with respect to Payroll Tax Cut, Eviction Protections, Unemployment Extensions, and Student Loan Repayment Options.”
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) issued a joint statement prior to the meeting that reads:
“We remain committed to continue negotiating and reaching a fair agreement with the Administration, but we will not go along with the meager legislative proposals that fail to address the gravity of the health and economic situation our country faces. We call upon the White House’s negotiators to join us once again at the negotiating table today to secure a bipartisan agreement to put children, families and workers first.”