US President Donald Trump on Thursday said he is ready to invoke executive powers to bypass a squabbling Congress and maintain emergency assistance for Americans suffering from coronavirus-induced economic pain.
Republican Senator Mike Lee, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy and Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, are introducing the measure, the aide said.
"The reason our negotiations with the White House have been so arduous is they just don't see the needs out there and they don't want to do anything about them".
Pelosi said while there's been progress negotiating with Republicans, "we're not there yet". "They'd like to get away with passing the skinniest most minimal bill possible and go home and wash their hands of it", said Schumer, who referred to the GOP approach as a "Band-aid".
"We're still a considerable amount apart", White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said after the meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday evening, The Washington Post reported. Both sides have set a goal of agreeing on a deal by week's end - though that is appearing increasingly out of reach. "We could - we might not get a deal". "We came closer together on several issues".
But after almost two weeks of talks that have yielded no substantial progress, President Trump has threatened to act unilaterally and issue executive orders to continue expanded unemployment benefits, reinstate an eviction moratorium, cut payroll taxes and continue a suspension of student loan repayments.
"I don't think they know what they're talking about", Pelosi said dismissively Thursday.
While Senate Republicans have proposed distinct cuts to the benefits, including a reduction to $200 a week ahead of transitioning to a 70% wage substitution rate, President Trump on Friday signaled his guidance for the $600 checks.
"People will become homeless because Republicans are nickel-and-diming", Pelosi said.
"The Speaker made a very fair offer - let's narrow each - and you should've seen the vehemence", Schumer said at a Friday press briefing.
Negotiations have focused on key points, including whether to continue boosted weekly unemployment payments and at what level, and whether to provide aid to local governments grappling with the pandemic.
"Day after day, they've stonewalled the president's team. Day by day, they've tried to invent new euphemisms to create the illusion of progress", McConnell said Thursday. Republicans have rejected this saying the price tag is too high. Schumer is desperate to win the Senate majority just as Republicans are in trying to hold on in a awful political year.
McConnell is sending the Senate home rather than forcing impatient senators to bide their time while Democrats play hardball.
The two sides - Democratic congressional leaders and the White House - have been unable to reach even a top-line spending agreement, with more than a trillion dollar difference in how much should be spent.