After President Trump put the kibosh on talks on a larger economic stimulus on Tuesday, he now says he’s working on a bigger deal. What does that really mean?
Can the White House and Congress find a path to more stimulus aid before the end of 2020? President Donald Trump — who is currently being treated for COVID-19 — called off negotiations Tuesday for a comprehensive stimulus package and then quickly urged Congress to turn its attention to standalone rescue bills for airline bailout aid, small business and a second stimulus check for $1,200. On Fox Business Thursday morning, the president said he is negotiating “a bigger deal” than just the airline package and that talks are “very productive.”
With first-time unemployment claims over 800,000 again last week, the need for more assistance for Americans and companies struggling through the coronavirus-induced recession remains acute. Economists across the country, including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, have warned of dire consequences to economic recovery and livelihoods if no aid arrives — or not enough.
“Well it’s hard to see any clear sane path in anything that [Trump] is doing. But the fact is, is that he saw the political downside of his statement of walking away from the negotiations,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “All he has ever wanted in negotiation was to send out a check with his name printed on it. Forget about the virus.” Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continue to speak about a standalone bill to assist the airline industry, though Bloomberg reports that Pelosi rejects a standalone stimulus check bill without additional aid.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, has also called to return to a larger stimulus bill.
Strongly recommend all my colleagues and President @realdonaldTrump look at the House Problem-Solvers bipartisan $1.5 trillion stimulus relief package.
It has many good things for individuals and businesses.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 7, 2020
“I am optimistic that there’s about 10 things that we can do on a piecemeal basis,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Fox News Wednesday.