Sept. 6 — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the Trump administration remains stuck on policy issues including the scope of another round of COVID-19 stimulus as negotiations surrounding such legislation remain stalled.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Mnuchin said that Republicans and the Trump administration are pushing for a pared-down “skinny” measure that would provide funding for education, small business and federal unemployment benefits, while Democrats have remained steadfast in their demand for a sweeping bill totaling nearly $3 trillion.
“The speaker has refused to sit down and negotiate unless we agree to something like a $2.5 trillion deal in advance,” he said. “As you know, we put $3 trillion into the economy when the economy was completely shut down and we’ve now reopened the economy. Let’s do a more targeted bill now and if we need to do more in 30 days we’ll continue to do more.”
When asked why President Donald Trump has not invited House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer to the Oval Office for discussions, Mnuchin said the president has been consulting with his advisers and Republican leaders.
“The president constantly has not only his economic team in the Oval Office but now Mark Meadows and I have been on the phone with Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans every single day,” he said. “Any legislation requires bipartisan support.”
Pelosi placed the blame for the stall in talks on Republican leadership as coronavirus cases in the country continue to rise.
“We’re not doing anything. Now, could we have saved all of those people? Not all, but many. The number of people who have been infected has grown by the millions,” she said during an interview with MSNBC’s AM Joy on Sunday.
Pelosi added that a House committee will take action on a bill this week before taking a vote.
“We have to make sure the public knows how we can solve this and why the administration is standing in the way of crushing the virus,” she said.
Sunday’s comments came after Pelosi and Mnuchin agreed to an informal deal Thursday to fund the government at least through the beginning of December to avoid a shutdown at the end of the month.
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