The president took to Twitter on Tuesday, October 13, to call on Congress to “go big or go home” referring to the stimulus plan. He also pressured Republicans the same day to speed up the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett in order to refocus on negotiations.
STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2020
Stimulus talks have yet again come to a halt as lawmakers continue to battle over the overall price tag. With several failed attempts to pass House Democrats’ revised $2.2 trillion HEROES Act, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s $1.6 trillion counterproposal and Senate GOPs’ $300 billion “skinny bill,” both sides of the aisle have now turned down the White House’s latest $1.8 trillion proposal, The Washington Post reported.
Pressure on Capitol Hill is mounting to pass a version of relief before the upcoming presidential election, according to White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on CNBC. He noted that the White House is turning its attention toward filling the Supreme Court vacancy.
Millions of Americans have gone roughly two months now without the federal extended unemployment benefits created under the CARES Act in March or a second round of direct stimulus checks. The Paycheck Protection Program’s small business loans also expired in early August.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump Is Sending Mixed Stimulus Signals
If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy? @MarkMeadows @senatemajldr @kevinomccarthy @SpeakerPelosi @SenSchumer
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
Earlier this month, Trump said he had postponed all stimulus negotiations until after the election, allowing for more focus on the Supreme Court process. He then backtracked and called for smaller standalone bills instead, such as stimulus checks and airline assistance.
Trump even addressed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Twitter, claiming he was ready to sign a targeted measure for the direct payments.
“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” he tweeted on October 6, just hours after he announced he was halting the talks.
White House communications director Alyssa Farah echoed Trump’s stance on targeted assistance on October 8, telling reporters that he wants a “skinny package,” according to a White House pool report cited by The Washington Post.
Pelosi Remains Firm on Her Decision to Turn Down Trump’s Latest Proposal
In an October 13 press release, Pelosi reiterated why she believes it is a good decision to turn down the administration’s latest stimulus proposal — which she described as “one step forward, two steps back.”
The $1.8 trillion package, up slightly from Mnuchin’s initial $1.6 trillion counteroffer, includes $300 billion for state and local aid and maintains $400 weekly extended federal unemployment benefits, among other initiatives, the newspaper added.
Pelosi highlighted in the release several areas within the bill’s framework that she claimed do not suffice, including the portion of aid for state and local governments. She also argued that a national testing and tracing plan should be included.
“Sadly, the serious issues detailed above are not exhaustive of our many outstanding concerns,” the House speaker said. “Significant changes must be made to remedy the Trump proposal’s deficiencies. Updates will continue.”