President Trump said Tuesday that he would support a $ 2.2 trillion aid package to the coronavirus with an even greater price than the Democrats, as both parties rush to provide aid to Americans before the November election.
“Let me just explain,” Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends. “I want to make it even bigger than the Democrats. Not all Republicans agree, but they will. I want to make it even bigger, because it̵
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“I’d rather go bigger than that number, but we’ll see,” he added. “[Pelosi] will not do anything until after the election because she thinks it helps her. I actually think it helps us, because everyone knows that she’s breaking the agreement. “
Trump’s remarks come before a Tuesday deadline to reach an agreement before the election, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced earlier this week.
Although Democrats and Republicans broadly agree that another bill is needed to help the economy recover, they strongly disagree on its size and scale and are billions of dollars apart in their proposals, unable to reconcile important political differences in issues such as virus testing plan, support for state and local governments and tax cuts for low- and middle-income families.
The Trump administration’s latest $ 1.8 trillion – the largest ever – was expected to include a second round of direct payments of up to $ 1,200 for adults and $ 1,000 for children; extended unemployment benefit of $ 400 per week and additional funding for state and local governments.
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But the offer attracted criticism from Democrats, who said the proposal gave Trump too much power to decide how the funds were spent, and Republicans, many of whom strove for another massive spending initiative amid the country’s balloon deficit, which is expected to hit a record. – ruins $ 3.3 trillion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (Over the summer, a number of GOP senators rebelled against a $ 1 trillion spending plan.)
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back toward a $ 1.8 trillion emergency deal, saying GOP senators believed “half a trillion dollars, highly targeted, is the best way to go.”
Trump said he would take “all the votes you can get, whether it’s Democrat or Republican.”
Pelosi spoke with the Trump administration’s chief negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for about an hour Monday, and her office said they continue to “narrow their differences.”
“Finally they have come to the table and we are trying to do something,” Pelosi told MSNBC on Monday night. The California Democrat said the two sides will evaluate progress Tuesday.
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“Let us make a judgment. We may not like this, maybe we do not like it, but let’s look at balance if we can move forward, ”Pelosi said.
For several months, Congress has struggled to reach agreement on further stimulus. Negotiations did not collapse until early August, prompting Trump to sign four executive measures aimed at providing assistance to families still under the virus-induced crisis, including the temporary extension of supplementary unemployment assistance to $ 300 a week. .
But that assistance is beginning to expire, and lifelines that supported the economy in the early weeks of the pandemic – such as the $ 670 billion paycheck protection program, a one-time $ 1,200 stimulus check and sweetened unemployment benefits – lapsed weeks ago.
Economists have urged lawmakers to pass another round of emergency aid or risk weakening the country’s weak turnaround from the virus-induced crisis. There are still 10 million more unemployed Americans than there were in February before the economy shut down. The vacancy rate is 7.9%.
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