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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Conservative allies of the president are weighing in on the next tranche of coronavirus relief funding, warning that Trump's reelection could hinge on the economic impact of the new bill — and urging him not to extend unemployment benefits from the CARES Act.

Details: Publishing magnate Steve Forbes and economist Stephen Moore have been warning Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the administration's lead negotiator on stimulus talks, and members of the White House economic council that the stakes for the new package "couldn't be higher."

  • Moore tells me, "We're very worried about Trump doing a deal with [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi that would have very negative effects on the economy."
  • Moore predicted that if unemployment benefits from the CARES Act are extended, "You're not gonna have a jobs recovery in the fall. Not only is that bad for millions of Americans, but Trump can't win an election if we don't have a good economy."
  • Instead, they suggested Trump move ahead with a payroll tax cut (something Trump said is a must-have, but other Republicans aren't as keen on).

What's next: Moore and Forbes plan to send President Trump a letter outlining these concerns.

  • The letter will also state that that cutting a bad deal could be "reminiscent" of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 under President George H.W. Bush that raised taxes and "cost him the election."
  • They'll also be releasing an ad this week through the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, which was founded by Forbes, Moore and economist Art Laffer, detailing why an extension of the $600 weekly unemployment benefits would be "disastrous" for the president.

Go deeper

Pelosi says Trump is "delusional" for thinking GOP will win the House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called President Trump "delusional" on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday for predicting Republicans will win the majority in the House of Representatives.

Why it matters: It's not clear who is telling Trump the GOP has a shot at winning back the House, but most congressional Republicans privately acknowledge that remaining in the minority is a foregone conclusion, Axios' Alayna Treene reports. The real question is how many seats they lose.

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but they fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.

Biden speaks with Macron for first time since diplomatic crisis

President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have a conversation ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, on June 14, 2021. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time since a diplomatic row erupted over a scrapped submarine order, per the White House.

Driving the news: Macron said that the French ambassador will return to Washington next week and will resume working with senior U.S. officials.

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