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White House, House Dems say they’re no closer to deal on stimulus

White House, House Dems say they’re no closer to deal on stimulus
Posted at 2:30 PM, Aug 07, 2020

White House officials and House Democrats said Friday they’re no closer to a deal with on a stimulus package, a week after extended unemployment benefits expired.

While the White House said they believe a compromise can be made on some issues, the two sides remain far apart on funding state and local governments. Many states and municipalities are struggling due to decreased revenues and increased costs amid the pandemic.

There is also disagreement among the parties, including Senate Republicans, on unemployment supplements as unemployment figures remain over 10%. From April into July, unemployed workers received an additional $600 unemployment supplement on top of standard unemployment benefits. But many Republicans grumbled that the supplement gave incentive for workers to stay home amid the pandemic.

Generally, however, if an employer calls an employee back to work, they're no longer eligible for unemployment benefits.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Capitol Hill Friday that he is going to recommend executive orders addressing student loan payments, evictions and unemployment supplements. Currently, federal student loan payments are frozen into October. Also, protection ended last week on evictions.

President Donald Trump told reporters late Friday that he plans on signing the order "by the end of the week." But Trump said he expects there will be legal challenges to his order.

Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that there is broad agreement on some issues, such as funding for schools to safely operate amid the pandemic. Previously, the sides also said there is agreement on providing Americans with $1,200 stimulus checks for the second time this year. But Mnuchin and Meadows pointed the finger at House Democrats for not compromising on the unresolved issues.

“Just to hear the comments from Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi saying they “want a deal” when behind closed doors, their actions do not indicate the same thing,” Meadows said.

Meanwhile, Democrats pointed the finger back at the White House for not reaching a compromise.

While the White House suggested that it would be okay with a partial stimulus package, Democrats are calling for a more comprehensive bill.

“We’re asking them to be fair, to meet us in the middle, not to have a my way or the highway attitude, which they seem to have,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “We can really get this done, because there are some areas where we didn’t come to an agreement on many things, but we narrowed our differences.”

Both the House and Senate have adjourned for the weekend.