White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, a key player in stimulus negotiations, is out of office this week. On August 10, Politico’s Morning Money reported that there “are not likely to be any serious talks this week,” partly as a result of Meadow’s absence.
In the words of Forbes’ Shahar Ziv, “That the fate of tens of millions of Americans, including 30 million unemployed workers, is on hold, even partially, because one person on vacation, is stupefying.”
Ziv wrote in Forbes, “To delay negotiations by a week so that one individual can take time off points to misguided priorities that should anger every American.”
It’s unclear where Meadows is spending his time off.
Meadows Has Been Referred to as a ‘Deal Breaker’
A recent Komo News article described Meadows as more of a “deal-breaker than deal-maker.”
An anonymous insider added that he “is in charge,” and that it was Meadows, not Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who “threw up roadblocks as talks collapsed”.
While both sides of the aisle support another round of stimulus checks, they appear to have reached a stalemate on stimulus package negotiations, unable to come to an agreement on factors like state and local aid, funding to reopening schools, and liability protection for schools and businesses.
After failing to agree on the parameters of a package by their self-imposed August 7 deadline, President Donald Trump issued four executive orders on August 8. Since then, legislators have not met to continue relief negotiations.
In the words of Forbes, “Instead of more negotiations, politicians are ramping up the political rhetoric and blaming the other side for delays.”
According to a Komo News, Meadows insinuated on a recent conference call that “no new talks [are] scheduled with Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
Meadows Has a Reputation on Capitol Hill of Being ‘as Close to the President as Anybody’
Speaking to Komo News, former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah stated that Meadows “brings Capitol Hill experience ‘and trust from the president.'” He added that Meadows, “gives them a lot of air cover for the conservative wing of the party.”
Chaffetz summed it up by saying, “If you’re negotiating with Mark, you know he’s as close to the president as anybody.”
Conversely, A recent Yahoo article read that Meadows is reportedly the “bad cop” of corona relief negotiations.
The Washington Post, similarly, argued that Meadows drew a “hard line” during relief talks, and reported Pelosi as referring to Meadows as “the Enforcer,” stating that the name had the “implication being he was there to ensure Mnuchin didn’t make a deal with the Democrats.”
Yahoo also quoted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as saying Meadows’ views “are quite hardened and non-compromising, more so than Mnuchin.”
Lastly, Rep. Don Beyer, who once worked with Meadows, wrote on Twitter on August 11 that Meadows is “well known on Capitol Hill for sabotaging negotiations.”
Meadows is slated to return next week.
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