Mark Meadows and Steven Mnuchin will make another trip to Capitol Hill on Monday to continue negotiations with Democrats over a new coronavirus stimulus package after weeks of talks deteriorate.
Even if a deal was reached today, a vote to approve the package would take place late this week or early next week – meaning those who receive unemployment checks will go on benefits for at least a week without the increased $ 600 a week .
Meadows, the chief of staff for the president, and Mnuchin, the secretary of the treasury, spent the past week negotiating with Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill all week to close a deal before the improved benefits expired on Friday.
They also met Democrats on Saturday in a final attempt to reach a compromise to extend unemployment benefits.
Meadows has vowed that he will be at the Capitol every day this week.
“We will speak to the President and staff regularly,” said Meadows. “We’ll be back every day until we fix this.”
It may take a while for Americans to see more economic relief in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as Democrats and Republicans stall in negotiations.
While White House officials are committed to reaching an agreement, Capitol Hill fiscal conservatives are not keen to get a fourth comprehensive aid package.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (left) and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (right) will head to Capitol Hill on Monday to negotiate further efforts to obtain the next corona virus aid package
Meadows pledged to visit the Capitol every day this week to reach a compromise on legislation as unemployed Americans are now facing the loss of the $ 600 a week unemployment boost, which ended Friday with no new deal on the table
Meadows and Mnuchin will meet with home speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (left)
Mnuchin said on Sunday morning that Republicans are unwilling to give in to the high price tag Democrats want to legislate – a total of at least $ 3 trillion.
“That’s something we’re not going to do,” Mnuchin told ABC News this week when asked about the $ 1 trillion measure Democrats demand for aid to state and local governments.
The Republican proposal made Monday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has cost a total of $ 1 trillion, which some Republicans claim is already too high a price for yet another round of relief in less than five months .
However, aside from laying down the terms of the legislation drafted by the Republicans on Monday, McConnell has remained largely absent from the negotiations and remains silent on the issue of the next package.
“We have to stay in balance,” Mnuchin told ABC. “It is clear that workers must be supported, the economy must be supported.”
“On the other hand,” he said, “we must be careful not to accumulate huge debts.”
In a sign of continued partisan stalemate due to another bill, house speaker Nancy Pelosi was unable to provide a timeline on Sunday.
“The fact is that we get close to an agreement when we have an agreement,” she told Martha Raddatz of ABC.
Mnuchin told ABC News on Sunday that Republicans will not yield to the Democrats’ push for $ 1 trillion in state and local governments in the next coronavirus stimulus package. “We’ve proposed a one-week extension of $ 600 so that at least we don’t lose all their people while negotiating a longer-term solution,” Mnuchin said. “And I’m surprised the Democrats disagree”
Pelosi signaled a stalemate in the negotiations because she could not give a timetable on when an agreement on the next package would be reached, as the increased unemployment benefits expired on Friday
“The fact is that they put down $ 200 on the ground at the end of this week in the Senate,” she complained about the GOP’s proposal to reduce unemployment.
“We are united in our support for $ 600,” said Pelosi of the Democratic Party.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer told reporters on Saturday, “We’re not close yet.
Mnuchin, whose interview with ABC News followed Pelosi’s story, said he was “surprised” by her comments.
The Secretary of the Treasury was the liaison between the White House and Congress, particularly with the Democrats, when negotiations began in March for a slew of packages to help Americans and boost the economy during the pandemic.
“The president is deeply concerned about the expiration of unemployment insurance,” Mnuchin assured.
“We suggested a week-long extension of $ 600 so that at least we don’t lose all those people’s money while negotiating a longer-term solution,” he added. “And I’m surprised the Democrats don’t agree to that. They insist on having this as part of a bigger deal. ‘
The unemployment increase, passed as part of an earlier bill, ended Friday when lawmakers struggled to reach an agreement on extending or modifying the increased benefits.
Democrats want to keep the $ 600 benefits while the virus prevails, but Monday’s Republican proposal saw a temporary cut to $ 200 a week.
However, Republicans also revealed that they plan to phase out the reduced benefits after 30 or 60 days and replace them with a maximum of 70 percent of the individual’s pre-coronavirus wages.
Unemployment benefits were increased to an additional $ 600 a week as millions of Americans become unemployed in the midst of the pandemic, but Republicans propose to lower the measure in the next law to $ 200 a week
The pandemic has left millions unemployed because Americans have been temporarily or permanently fired, their hours have been cut or fired.
Republicans regret that high unemployment has encouraged new unemployed people to remain unemployed and to continue to collect checks.
Mnuchin and Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who negotiated with lawmakers last week, met Democrats again on Saturday.
“It was a productive discussion,” Schumer told reporters at the Capitol on Saturday. “Now each side knows where, where they are. And we are going to work hard to reach an agreement. ‘
Pelosi also sent a sweet colleague letter after the meeting.
“Today’s meeting was more productive than our previous discussions, but no agreement can be reached yet,” Pelosi wrote.
“Work will continue at the personnel level tomorrow,” the California Democrat continued.
The Republican proposal included a second round of relief checks for Americans, such as that of $ 1,200 direct checks sent earlier in the pandemic as part of an earlier stimulus package.
It also included over $ 100 billion for schools to reopen in the fall and put an end to evictions for those unable to pay their rent.