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

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White House, Democrats remain "trillions of dollars apart" on stimulus talks

Meadows and Mnuchin. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Trump administration and Democrats have not agreed to any "top-line numbers" and remain "trillions of dollars apart" on coronavirus stimulus negotiations, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday.

The state of play: Meadows told reporters, "At this point we’re either going to get serious about negotiating and get an agreement in principle or — I’ve become extremely doubtful that we’ll be able to make a deal if it goes well beyond Friday.”

Rand Paul: Republicans should apologize to Obama for complaining about spending

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tore into his fellow Republicans on Fox News Wednesday for considering a coronavirus relief package that could cost more than $1 trillion, calling on them to apologize to President Obama "for complaining that he was spending and borrowing too much" during his time in office.

Why it matters: Paul's comments, while tongue-in-cheek, underscore the divisions within the Senate Republican conference, where as many as 20 GOP senators are likely to vote against any coronavirus relief bill — even if a deal is reached between Democrats and Trump administration.

Unemployment benefits aren't creating a disincentive for job seekers

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The extra $600 a week of unemployment insurance isn't creating a disincentive for job seekers, per a new study by Yale economists.

Why it matters: Even with that extra help, millions of Americans are barely making ends meet. Now it has expired, and congressional Republicans' argument against extending it — that it rewards unemployment — isn't backed by the data.