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Pelosi: Democrats and Republicans ‘miles apart’ on pandemic aid that would include second round of stimulus checks

August 12, 2020, 6:32 PM UTC

President Donald Trump over the weekend signed executive orders and memorandums that encompassed everything from enhanced unemployment benefits, to extending students loan deferments, to deferring some payroll taxes. That came after a breakdown of negotiations last week on a broad stimulus package between Democratic and Republican leaders.

But on other some items, like a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks or school funding, Trump can’t act without Congress. However, discussions on a broad stimulus bill between Democratic and Republican leaders have yet to restart.

“When commentators say to me: ‘Why can’t you resolve your differences?’ [It’s] because we’re miles apart,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday on MSNBC.

On Friday the Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer told reporters that Democratic leaders offered to come down from $3.4 trillion to $2.4 trillion, if Republicans came up $1 trillion to $2 trillion. That way, “we could begin to meet in the middle,” he said. But Republicans rejected that offer, and hours later Trump announced his executive orders and memorandums.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated Wednesday that Republicans would like to do a stimulus package of “a little more than $1 trillion.”

Differences between Republicans remain on issues like funding for state and local governments—Democrats want more than a $1 trillion for it—and school funding—Republicans want more going to schools that open in-person. And Democrats still oppose Republican proposal to provide COVID-19 lawsuit immunity to businesses and schools. However, both parties are in agreement about another round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

But some fiscal hawks in Congress would like to see the stimulus negations continue to remain tabled.

“I hope the talks remain broken down,” said Senator Ron Johnson, R-WI on Monday. “From my standpoint, the breakdown in the talks is very good news. It’s very good news for future generations.”