Stimulus Talks Edge Toward Breakdown With Sides Still Far Apart
With Democratic lawmakers and White House negotiators both pointing fingers at each other, hours of tense negotiations on overdue coronavirus relief measures end Thursday with little progress and an uncertain path forward.
The Washington Post:
White House, Democrats Fail To Reach Agreement On Virus Relief Bill, And Next Steps Are Uncertain
White House officials and Democratic leaders ended a three-hour negotiation Thursday evening without a coronavirus relief deal or even a clear path forward, with both sides remaining far apart on critical issues. “We’re still a considerable amount apart,” said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows after emerging from the meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. President Trump called into the meeting several times, but they were unable to resolve key issues. (Werner, Stein and Kane, 8/6)
Virus Aid Talks On Brink Of Collapse, Sides 'Very Far Apart'
“There’s a handful of very big issues that we are still very far apart” on, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He talked of impasses on aid to states and local governments and renewing supplemental unemployment benefits in the Thursday night meetings. Both sides said the future of the talks is uncertain. President Donald Trump is considering executive orders to address evictions and unemployment insurance, but they appear unlikely to have much impact. (Taylor, 8/7)
Trump Preparing 'Aggressive' Actions If No Deal Reached With Congress
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Thursday that President Trump is preparing "aggressive" executive action on coronavirus stimulus if the sides fail to solidify a deal on emergency legislation in the coming days. Heading in to yet another closed-door meeting with top Democratic leaders in the Capitol, Meadows said he hopes the parties can iron out their differences and preempt such a unilateral action by the White House. But he also warned that those differences remain substantial, not least the more than trillion-dollar gap in the overall size of the latest coronavirus aid package. (Lillis, 8/6)
The Washington Post:
In A Divided Capitol, Lawmakers Can’t Agree On Coronavirus Safety Measures — Down To The Best Kind Of Thermometer
As coronavirus cases continue to mount, the Senate Rules Committee has drafted a preliminary plan for a rapid testing system for that side of the U.S. Capitol — but on the other end of the building, the House Administration Committee has deemed the approach impractical for such a massive complex. Other safety issues have been punted to the Office of Attending Physician of Congress, run by a reclusive doctor who is accountable only to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). That has meant health and safety guidance that often differs depending on location, with masks mandatory on the House floor and only recommended for the Senate. (Kane and Bade, 8/6)