White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows cast a gloomy outlook today on further unemployment relief and economic stimulus packages.
Speaking on NBC’s Meet The Press, Meadows said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would “rather have nothing” than move off her demand for a $2.2 trillion second stimulus package that some observers feel is laden with items not related to economic relief.
“Here’s the problem is – she puts forth a number, suggests that she came down, and yet she’s willing to turn down $1.3 trillion of help that goes to the American people because she would rather them have nothing than to give way on what her fantasy objection might be,” Meadows said.
Democrats originally supported $3 trillion in relief, while Republicans suggested $1 trillion. Pelosi then brought her number down to $2.2 trillion. President Donald Trump has just proposed a package worth $1.3 trillion, and has made Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) money available to states that apply for unemployment funding as a bridge before a stimulus package is approved.
Pelosi and Meadows are expected to speak again Sunday, continuing negotiations that have appeared to stall.
“Well, we’ve brought up a number,” Meadows said. “I had a conversation with Speaker Pelosi. And even on her $2.2 trillion counter offer, she can’t tell the American people, nor me, what is in that.”
“I can tell you what is in the offer that the President has made and he’s willing to sign,” Meadows added. “Enhanced unemployment at levels she would agree with. Enhanced help for small businesses at levels she would agree with. Literally, help for daycare and hospitals at levels she would agree with. And help for schools at levels she would agree with. I can tell you all of those things that I just mentioned are available for the American people and the speaker, Pelosi, is saying no.”
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