world

Trump urges reluctant Republicans to go higher on coronavirus relief

4 Comments
By Susan Cornwell and David Morgan

President Donald Trump urged his fellow Republicans on Wednesday to go for "much higher numbers" in a coronavirus aid bill, as Washington remained deadlocked over economic relief from the crisis ahead of the Nov 3 elections.

Senate Republican reaction to Trump's appeal was mixed, but generally cautious. But House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement they were encouraged and hoped White House negotiators would now "meet us halfway."

Pelosi spoke by phone on Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has helped negotiate previous coronavirus aid packages. They talked about a government funding bill, and at the end of the conversation, Pelosi reiterated the points she had made in her statement with Schumer, Pelosi's spokesman said on Twitter.

The standoff dates to mid-May, when the Democratic-majority House approved $3.4 trillion in new coronavirus aid, including unemployment benefits, money for schools, the U.S. Postal Service, and testing. Pelosi meanwhile offered to drop the demand to about $2.2 trillion.

The Senate's Republican leaders countered with a $1 trillion plan, but some of their own members balked at that. Last week they put a $300 billion bill up for a vote that Democrats blocked as insufficient.

"Go for the much higher numbers, Republicans, it all comes back to the USA anyway (one way or another!)" Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

Congress and the White House approved more than $3 trillion worth of coronavirus relief measures earlier this year.

The Senate's number two Republican John Thune, speaking after Trump's tweet, said proposals should stay in a "realistic" range. Noting the original $1 trillion Senate Republican plan, he said: "As you go upwards from there you start ... losing Republican support pretty quickly."

A $1.5 trillion compromise floated Tuesday by the House Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan centrist group, was attacked by members of both parties. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, however, said it deserved consideration.

The approaching election increases the political stakes for both parties. Pelosi faces growing pressure from moderate House Democrats for more action on COVID-19 relief. Some of them welcomed Trump's tweet on Wednesday, including Representative Max Rose, from a competitive congressional district in Staten Island, New York.

Rose said leaders of both parties should "Stop the game, stop the stupidity and get to work" on a coronavirus aid plan.

Thune said there was some Republican interest in the $1.5 trillion Problem Solvers plan, but not in the $500 billion it included in aid for state and local governments. Meadows said the state and local issue was probably the biggest obstacle to a deal.

Several Senate Republicans said their recent $300 billion offer was about the right amount, signaling doubt they could go higher.

"So the president has his opinion, we have ours," Senator Ron Johnson said.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

4 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

*The standoff dates to mid-May, when the Democratic-majority House approved $3.4 trillion in new coronavirus aid, including unemployment benefits, money for schools, the U.S. Postal Service, and testing. Pelosi meanwhile offered to drop the demand to about $2.2 trillion.*

Republicans have been holding Main Street hostage for about four months.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

President Donald Trump urged his fellow Republicans

If so, good on Trump.

However, because he's flip-flopped and 'misrepresented the truth' so many times, I don't trust him this time. Or any time for that matter.

For decades the Republican Party has ignored the needs of Main Street, focused their collective energies on Wall Street instead. See Trump tax cuts.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

However, because he's flip-flopped and 'misrepresented the truth' so many times, I don't trust him this time. Or any time for that matter.

For decades the Republican Party has ignored the needs of Main Street, focused their collective energies on Wall Street instead. See Trump tax cuts.

And how have the Democrats fared on relief? They never took action of the hardest hit minority communities, it just is amazing to me that liberals scream how much they distrust this President, but did nothing to help the minority communities for years, just astounding.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"Go for the much higher numbers, Republicans, it all comes back to the USA anyway (one way or another!)" Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

Interesting huh Trump supporters....

Donald siding and agreeing with Nancy and Chuck, and not Mitch and Kevin....

This certainly proves it's been the Repubs holding up relief efforts in the Congress, if you believe Trump....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites