Democrats, White House still at odds over extra coronavirus unemployment benefits
Democrats have ‘walked away’ from coronavirus stimulus deal: Rep. Williams
Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, discusses progress in closing a coronavirus stimulus deal in the final hours of deliberation. FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence with more.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will meet with congressional leaders every day until there's agreement on phase four coronavirus relief after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the two sides can't even agree on the basics.
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"We must defeat this virus, and that is one of the points we still have not come to any agreement on. … If we're going to open our economy and have our children be in schools, we have to defeat the virus, and that is one of the contentious issues that we have to deal with," Pelosi told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.
Mnuchin pushed back against Pelosi's claims and said both sides understand the need to kill the virus. However, disagreements about extending federally enhanced coronavirus unemployment benefits, which expired Friday, are holding negotiations up.
"The president is very concerned about the expiration of the unemployment insurance," Mnuchin told "This Week." "We proposed a one-week extension at $600 so that, while we negotiate a longer term solution, at least all those people don't lose their money. I'm surprised the Democrats won't agree to that. They're insistent on having a larger deal."
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Pelosi did not seem willing to compromise on the extra $600 a week.
"President Trump … is the one who is standing in the way of that. We have been for the $600. They have a $200 proposal, which does not meet the needs of America's working families," Pelosi said. "The amount of money that is given as an enhancement … should relate to the rate of unemployment. As that goes down, you can consider something less than $600."
Lawmakers reported progress on a huge coronavirus relief bill Saturday, as political pressure mounts to restore an expired $600-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit and send funding to help schools reopen.