On Tuesday morning, top GOP lawmakers joined President Donald J. Trump in a phone call to talk over the next round of Covid-19 stimulus. The call was made before finally announcing that the president’s directed his top negotiators to delay discussions until after the election.
Trump, who has relied on Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, and Steven Munich, the Treasury Secretary, to lead the negotiations, took part in the call during his first complete return from the hospital told by an administration official.
Other GOP leaders who participated in the phone call included majority leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Mnuchin.
The president said later Tuesday that he has briefed his administration’s negotiators to conclude coronavirus stimulus talks with Democrats until after the November 3rd election.
If the White House applies it, the assertion will end a continuing push to direct trillions of dollars more in relief to American people as the pandemic rampages through the U.S. and the economy strives to recover from virus-related closures.
Although the president had for weeks left Mnuchin and Meadows in charge, he Saturday wrote on Twitter from his hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to call on Congress to strike a deal.
OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020
“Our Great country wants and requires stimulus. Work together to get it done. Thank you!” Trump wrote at the time. On Monday evening, the president was discharged from Walter Reed and will continue to be cured for Covid-19.
The House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package on Thursday, even as the two sides struggled to agree on a deal.
The GOP senators, particularly the McConnell, have opposed the legislation for being too outsized and argue that paying trillions more wouldn’t be worth ballooning the national debt.
The newest deadlock emerges as the U.S. reports hundreds of thousands of new coronavirus cases a day and some of the biggest U.S. firms thinking new layoffs and furloughs.
Adding to the urgency, the weekly supplemental unemployment benefit of $600, the widow to apply for loans via the Paycheck Protection Program, and the federal moratorium on evictions all expired weeks ago.