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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on President Trump Thursday to exercise "the full power" of the Defense Production Act to meet coronavirus equipment needs and accused him of engaging in a "massive dereliction of duty" by ignoring science during the pandemic.

What she's saying: "I yearn for other Republican presidents," Pelosi said at a press conference. "While we may have disagreed on many points, at least we had a shared commitment to the governance of our country."

The big picture: Congress is prepping for a bitter battle over the next coronavirus stimulus package, which comes amid a surge in infections in 37 states over the past week. The $600-per-week supplemental unemployment insurance (UI) benefit included in the March CARES Act is set to expire at the end of July.

  • Pelosi, who has already led the passage of House Democrats' $3 trillion stimulus bill, said that she is in favor of extending the $600 UI benefit, but added, "The whole package will depend on what we do also through direct payments, which are so essential."
  • Pelosi did not say whether she has been in contact with anyone in the Trump administration for negotiations. President Trump said earlier this month that he supports another round of direct payments, but signaled that he and other Republicans would not support the extension of UI benefits.
  • Recess schedules in the House and Senate leave the chambers in need of striking a deal between July 20–31. However, Pelosi said earlier this week that the House would "absolutely" skip August recess to reach a deal.

The bottom line: "Because we are Americans, we're going to beat this. But we have to beat it scientifically, and in order to do that, you have to believe in science, and you have to believe in governance," Pelosi said.

Go deeper: More than 32 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits

Go deeper

New state unemployment filings fall to 787,000

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.