White House Suggests Stopgap Aid Bill In Anticipation Of Rocky Negotiations

by Jacqueline Robinson

Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~  Jul 27, 2020

Even as Senate Republicans are poised to release their $1 trillion stimulus package hammered out with the White House, top Trump administration officials suggest that more narrow legislation may be needed as benefits are set to expire.

ABC News: Senate GOP, White House Poised To Unveil Their Next Coronavirus Relief Plan  Senate Republican leaders and the White House appear to have overcome their differences and are poised to introduce their next coronavirus relief plan on Monday afternoon. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows spent the weekend on Capitol Hill working through details of the proposal with Senate GOP leadership staff. (Turner, 7/26)

Politico: Meadows, Mnuchin Push For Narrow Coronavirus Relief Bill Even before Senate Republicans roll out a proposal on the next coronavirus relief package, top Trump administration officials are already pushing a backup plan in case negotiations stall. During media appearances Sunday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Congress could take an issue-by-issue approach to coronavirus relief, an idea House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has already rejected. (Levin and McCaskill, 7/26)

The Hill: Mnuchin: It ‘Wouldn’t Be Fair To Use Taxpayer Dollars To Pay More People To Sit Home’  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took a hard line Sunday against the $600 increase in unemployment benefits that was a part of the last coronavirus relief measure, saying, “It just wouldn’t be fair to use taxpayer dollars to pay more people to sit home than they would working and get a job.” GOP lawmakers have taken a hard line against the enhancement as they negotiate with the White House over a new relief measure. The initial bill won blowback from Republicans who said some people would make more money not working than going to work. (Budryk, 7/26)

The New York Times: Trump Officials Float Idea Of Narrow Bill To Extend Unemployment Benefits  Top Trump administration officials proposed on Sunday potentially short circuiting free-ranging stimulus talks with Democrats to rush through a much narrower bill prioritizing an extension of federal unemployment benefits that are set to expire this week for millions of Americans. Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, said he would now like to see lawmakers act this week to extend and alter the unemployment program, give tax credits to businesses to help ease reopening costs and grant employers new liability protections — while setting aside a long list of other objectives, including Democrats’ priorities. (Fandos and Cochrane, 7/26)

And the Democrats’ response —

The Hill: Pelosi, Schumer Knock GOP Over ‘Disarray’ Ahead Of Unemployment Cliff  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) knocked Republicans on Friday, blaming their “disarray” for a looming expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits. “This weekend, millions of Americans will lose their Unemployment Insurance, will be at risk of being evicted from their homes, and could be laid off by state and local government, and there is only one reason: Republicans have been dithering for months while America’s crisis deepens,” the congressional Democratic leaders said in a joint statement. (Carney, 7/24)

 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.


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