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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

Ro Khanna urges Pelosi to retake Trump's pre-election COVID deal

In an "Axios on HBO" interview, California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna continued to urge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take the $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief deal that the Trump administration offered — and Pelosi rejected — before the election.

Driving the news: Asked if he thinks Pelosi ought to take the deal now, Khanna replied, "If we get $1.8 trillion? I think we would definitely want to make the deal. And it's gonna be catastrophic if we don't."

Nov 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump adviser leading election legal fight tests positive for COVID-19

David Bossie joins President Trump's motorcade in May 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

David Bossie, one of President Trump's outside advisers, has tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the president's election night party last week, sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

Why it matters: Bossie is helping the Trump campaign lead a barrage of lawsuits to contest the outcome of the 2020 election, as the president continues to spread unsubstantiated allegations that widespread voter fraud and mail-in ballot irregularities stole the election from him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.