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.”

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is negotiating on behalf of the White House alongside Meadows, added: "I think we need to see some real compromise on some of the big issues. And if we can reach a compromise on these big issues, I think everything else will fall into place."
  • He continued: "If we can't reach an agreement on these mitigations then I don't see us coming to an overall deal. And then we'll have to look at the president taking actions under his executive authority."

What to watch: Trump said at a briefing Wednesday that his administration is "exploring executive actions to provide protections against eviction." Meadows added on CNN that the White House legal team is also looking at extending enhanced unemployment benefits via executive order, citing "some of the flexibility we have from the previous CARES Act."

The other side: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has insisted that the price tag for the next coronavirus relief package should be $3.4 trillion, said on MSNBC Wednesday that the White House does not have the power to extend unemployment benefits via executive order.

  • "He may be able to extend the moratorium on evictions," Pelosi said. "But unless you have some money with that — it's helpful but it's not the whole thing."
  • "Again, he can't do the money without the Congress of the United States. The power of the purse begins in the House."

Go deeper: 23 million Americans face eviction

Go deeper

Sep 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Meadows puts agencies on notice about staff shake-up

Internal government email obtained by Axios

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told administration officials Monday to expect senior aides to be replaced at many government agencies, according to an internal email obtained by Axios.

Behind the scenes: Meadows asked the director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office John McEntee "to look at replacing the White House Liaisons (WHLs) at many of your agencies," according to the email. "John will be working with outgoing liaisons to explore other opportunities."

Meadows: Trump will not meet with Lagoa in Florida

Lagoa and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tells Axios that President Trump will not meet with shortlisted Supreme Court candidate Barbara Lagoa during a campaign visit to Florida on Friday, and that any talks with court candidates will take place in Washington.

The backstory: Axios reported on Tuesday that Trump would meet with Lagoa during his Friday campaign trip, citing two sources familiar with his plans. When we initially approached the White House with this reporting, officials declined to comment.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

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