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Mnuchin and Meadows. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters after meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday that the two sides are "nowhere close to a deal" on a coronavirus stimulus bill, acknowledging that extra unemployment benefits will expire on Friday.

Why it matters: More than 32 million Americans are currently receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to the most recent Labor Department data. Democrats had hoped to extend the $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit passed in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, but the Senate GOP remains extremely divided.

The state of play: The White House has repeatedly floated the option of passing a "skinny" bill to extend unemployment benefits, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has rejected that option as unacceptable: "We have to have a comprehensive full bill," she said.

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters, "They're tied in a total knot because of the disunity in their caucus, their inability to gather votes."
  • "We want to come back and keep talking to them, but they don’t have anything to say," Schumer added.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on PBS Newshour Wednesday that "about 20 of our members think that we've already done enough," meaning that 20 Republicans will likely vote "no" on any coronavirus relief package.

The bottom line: Asked what would be necessary to achieve a breakthrough, Meadows told reporters, "I don't know that anything does."

Go deeper ... "This is not going to be the bill": GOP senators criticize their own stimulus proposal

Go deeper

Nov 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy gears up to run for Speaker in 2022

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Surprising GOP gains in House races Tuesday and the addition of women to their caucus appears to have cleared the field of challengers to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House leadership sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: That clears the path for him to run for speaker of the House in 2022 if Republicans are successful in a push to retake the majority in the midterms.

GOP Senate wins wreak havoc on Biden transition plans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans' likely hold on the Senate is forcing Joe Biden's transition team to consider limiting its prospective Cabinet nominees to those who Mitch McConnell can live with, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The new Senate political math could dash the ambitions of some Democrats, including those who have clashed with Republicans.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Nov 5, 2020 - Economy & Business

The no-wave rally begins

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. stocks which analysts and strategists insisted had been rising based on the anticipation of a blue wave Democratic victory in the House, Senate and White House — had their best day in nearly seven months as that possibility looked to be wiped off the table.

  • While some races have not yet been called, Democrat Joe Biden looks poised to win in his election against President Trump, but so do many incumbent Republicans senators.

What they're saying: Some attributed the stock market's surge — the Nasdaq rose 3.9% and the S&P 500 gained 2.2% — to the market's happiness with a potential divided government and discounted prospects of tax increases. However, there were other explanations...

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