Stimulus talks to resume: White House and Pelosi to discuss coronavirus checks and extra unemployment benefits
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is set to reopen discussion on a coronavirus stimulus package on Thursday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
This marks the first time Democratic and Republican leaders have discussed a stimulus bill since August 7 when talks ended in a bitter stalemate. Those negotiations fell apart with Democratic leaders still asking for $3.4 trillion in stimulus, while the White House wouldn’t budge from its offer of around $1 trillion. Democratic leaders proposed coming down $1 trillion if Republicans came up $1 trillion, however, that offer was rebuffed.
This restart in talks comes after Meadows publicly stated Wednesday he had reached out to Pelosi to resume talks. It’s unclear if the two parties would move forward with a broad stimulus package—including things like stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment, Paycheck Protection Program loans, and state governments fundings—or a more limited package.
On Wednesday, CNBC reported Republicans may try to push forward with a limited stimulus package in the Senate of around $500 billion, which would include enhanced unemployment benefits, funding for schools, Paycheck Protection Program loans, and funding for a vaccine and testing. That limited bill would exclude a second round of stimulus checks and state government funding.
Democratic leaders have said that a limited stimulus package, or anything below $2 trillion, is a nonstarter.
And both the White House and Pelosi are going into the call with limited expectations. Meadows said Wednesday he think it’s unlikely anything gets signed before the end of September.
But the pressure is mounting. The expiration of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefits on July 25 and slowing economic numbers are helping to bring both parties back to the negotiating table.