For months, Republicans and Democrats have debated the parameters of the next coronavirus relief bill. Now, President Donald Trump says he is willing to increase his offer for a stimulus package above the current $1.8 trillion proposal and that China will pay for it. He hasn’t presented any plan for how that would happen.
In a video posted to his Twitter account, the president said of the coronavirus pandemic, “It wasn’t your fault that this happened, it was China’s fault, and China is going to pay a big price for what they’ve done to this country. China’s going to pay a big price for what they’ve done to the world. This was China’s fault.”
According to CNN reporter Daniel Dale, when Trump was asked how he plans on getting stimulus money from China, he said, “Well, there’s a lot of ways. Okay? There’s a lot of ways. And I’ll figure every one of ’em out. I already have ’em figured out.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin & House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Will Meet on Thursday
At this point, it’s unclear whether the details of a stimulus package will be ironed out before the November election. According to Newsweek, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are set to meet on Thursday, October 15, once again to continue negotiations.
Earlier this week, Mnuchin said, “… at this point, getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult just given where we are and the level of detail. But we’re going to try to continue to work through these issues.”
He added that a sticking point when it comes to stimulus relief is the need for a national strategic testing plan — Democrats are asking for more funding than Republicans are willing to allocate, according to Fox.
Last week, Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network that when it comes to the overall price of a stimulus package, he plans to “Go big or go home!!!”
He added that he has already shared these views with Mnuchin. “I’ve told him. So far he hasn’t come home with the bacon.”
Trump Has Changed What He Is Willing to Offer
As the Washington Post pointed out, Trump “keeps changing what he is willing to offer, often in Twitter posts or media interviews.”
Asked to comment on the president’s “Go big or go home” tweet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear he and his fellow Republicans in the Senate are aiming for a more targeted and piecemeal approach to stimulus relief.
“I’m proposing what we think is appropriate. … I’m putting on the floor what we think is appropriate to tackle this disease at this point. … That’s where the administration’s willing to go. My members think what we laid out, a half a trillion dollars, highly targeted, is the best way to go,” McConnell said, according to The Washington Post.
Trump, however, said Republicans are willing to spend the money he’s insistent on and claimed Pelosi is the one who “doesn’t want to give anything.”
“She thinks it helps her with the election. And I don’t think so. I think it hurts her with the election because everyone knows she’s holding it up. We’re not holding it up. She’s holding it up,” Trump told Fox Business News.
Pelosi has insisted on a package with at least $2 trillion in relief money, according to Politico.
On Thursday, despite his commitment to raising the current $1.8 trillion offer, Trump said that Pelosi is “asking for all sorts of goodies” and criticized her price-point as being too high, The Washington Post reported.
The differing opinions from legislators on both sides of the aisle have compounded stress over the ability for the U.S. economy to recover in the wake of the pandemic.
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