Speaking Wednesday morning on Fox & Friends, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said President Donald Trump is considering “stand-alone bills to help airlines, small businesses, and the American people with stimulus checks.”
The remarks, as Politico pointed out, came one day after the president tweeted that stimulus check negotiations would not resume until after the election. Trump added that he would pass a “major stimulus bill” if re-elected on November 3, according to ABC WATE.
These sentiments, however, were reversed on Wednesday morning when the president tweeted, “Move Fast, I Am Waiting To Sign!”
Here’s what you need to know:
The ‘Piecemeal Approach’
According to NPR, this is not the first time the White House has considered what the outlet refers to as a “piecemeal approach.” It notes, however, that Democrats have dismissed these stand-alone proposals, urging that the state of the economy necessitates a “comprehensive response.”
Both chambers of Congress, and the White House, have all supported a second round of stimulus checks. The sticking point is the overall price of a stimulus package. Pelosi is pushing for a $2 trillion package, while the White House is determined to stay in the $1 trillion range, according to Politico.
Early Tuesday, Trump said in a statement, “Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their request, and looking to the future of our Country. I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business. I have asked Mitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Our Economy is doing very well. The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!”
Pelosi responded by stating that “once again”, President Trump showed his “true colors by putting himself first at the expense of the country.”
A Stand-Alone Bill for Airlines Was Blocked Just Last Week
Last Friday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. Peter DeFazio sought to pass a stand-alone bill that would give relief to airlines, in the words of The Hill. The bill would extend the airline PSP (Payroll Support Program) by six months.
The legislation, however, was blocked on the House floor. DeFazio later said, “The Republican minority killed this legislation, plain and simple. If they had just agreed, tens of thousands of workers for the airlines — flight attendants, they don’t get paid a heck of a lot of money, pilots, yeah they do well, mechanics, gate agents — tens of thousands of those people have been furlough as of yesterday.”
Hours before DeFazio took the floor, the House passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, which was denounced by Senate Republicans.
The legislation included a second round of $1,200 stimulus payments and an additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits. And whereas the first HEROES Act came in at $3.4 trillion, this one was cut back to $2.2 trillion.
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