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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters on Aug. 27. Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after a 25-minute phone call with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Thursday that the two sides remain at a "tragic impasse" over a coronavirus relief package.

The state of play: Democrats are willing to agree to a $2.2 trillion stimulus deal — $1.2 trillion less than the HEROES Act that the House passed in May, Pelosi said. She called on the Trump administration to meet them in the middle, and she said talks would not resume unless they do so.

What she's saying: "Originally, House and Senate Democrats made clear we would be willing to cut a trillion dollars if the White House would add a trillion for a bill.  In order to meet in the middle, we have now said we would be willing to go to $2.2 trillion to meet the needs of the American people," Pelosi said in a statement.

  • "This is not about dollars, this is about values. These investments will not only help crush the virus, they will also help bolster the economy."
  • "The administration’s continued failure to acknowledge the funding levels that experts, scientists and the American people know is needed leaves our nation at a tragic impasse."
  • "Over 100 days after House Democrats passed the Heroes Act, another 4.4 million Americans have become sick and over 90,000 have died. Yet, Republicans continue to turn their backs on the American people."

Go deeper

DeVos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration is extending federal student loan relief, which includes a pause on payments and interest accrual, through Jan. 31, the Department of Education announced Friday.

Why it matters: Payments have been paused since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the relief was set to expire on Dec. 31 . The relief measures, which also include the suspension of collections of defaulted federal student loans, have helped mitigate some of the pandemic's negative consequences for millions of borrowers.

Dec 4, 2020 - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

Dec 4, 2020 - Health

Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate

Golden Gate Park. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty

Counties around the San Francisco Bay Area will adopt California’s new regional stay-at-home order amid surges in cases and ICU hospitalizations, health officials said Friday.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. Despite the Bay Area’s current 25.3% ICU capacity, health officials from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley are moving ahead with a shelter-in-place mandate in the hopes of reducing risk.