First, Trump told the Republican leaders in Congress on Tuesday to quit negotiating on an aid package. By Wednesday he was trying to bring everyone back to the table for his priority items — including $1,200 stimulus checks for almost all adult Americans.
Pelosi said Thursday that Democrats are “still at the table” and her office resumed conversations with top negotiator Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
She said she told Mnuchin she was willing to consider a measure to prop up the airline industry, which is facing widespread layoffs. But that aid, she said, must go alongside broader legislation that includes the kind of COVID testing, tracing and health practices that Democrats say are needed as part of a national strategy to “crush the virus.”
Normally, the high stakes and splintered politics ahead of an election could provide grounds for a robust package. But with other Republicans refusing to spend more money, it appears no relief will be coming with Americans already beginning early voting.
Democrats have made it clear they will not do a piecemeal approach until the Trump administration signs off on a broader, comprehensive plan they are proposing for virus testing, tracing and other actions to stop its spread. They have scaled back a $3 trillion measure to a $2.2 trillion proposal. The White House presented a $1.6 trillion counter offer. Talks were ongoing when Trump shut them down.