Aug 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (R) and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speak to the media

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (L) and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speak to the media on Capitol Hill. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump should sign executive orders unilaterally addressing coronavirus stimulus spending after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again on Friday.

Why it matters: Friday was viewed as a self-imposed deadline to negotiate a new relief bill. But after an intense week of negotiations on Capitol Hill, White House and Democratic leadership failed to reach a deal on delivering much needed aid to Americans and businesses.

  • Trump's team has already drafted a series of orders that would implement a payroll tax holiday, address the housing crisis, provide more aid for student loans and make more money available for enhanced unemployment benefits.
  • Trump is expected to sign the orders over the weekend.

What they're saying:

  • Meadows: "At this point I'm extremely disappointed we came up here today just to hear same thing over and over again the same thing as the last two weeks."
  • Mnuchin: "The chief and I will recommend to the president based upon our lack of activity today to move forward with some executive orders — again, we agree with the Speaker, this is not the first choice."
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "It was a disappointing meeting. We reiterated in very strong terms our offer. We've come down $1 trillion from our top number ... Unfortunately, they rejected it. They said they couldn't go much above their existing $1 trillion and that was disappointing."
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Democrats view these talks as an "opportunity" to deliver for the American people, "but we can't have it be a missed opportunity to do that by settling for something so low, so beneath meeting the needs of the American people."

What's next: All leaders said they are willing to continue negotiations if the opposing party is open to compromise, but several lawmakers are wary that they'll be able to find common ground.

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