(UnitedVoice.com) – On Friday morning, Aug 7, the chance for a COVID-19 relief package stalled as Democrats refused to negotiate on key sticking points. Thursday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met for three hours to hammer out a deal. Both sides left the meeting deflated and frustrated.
The main sticking point that remains is the $600 per week unemployment benefit. Republicans have said for months that some people were getting paid more not to work than they were working. While they understand the gravity of the situation, they were trying to negotiate down from $600 per week to $400 per week. However, Pelosi and Schumer refused to budge in a game of who will blink first.
Mnuchin said Thursday night that Friday was the deadline to get a deal done. Later in the evening, President Trump said if they don’t get a deal done, he’ll take matters into his own hands. He wants to postpone payroll taxes, provide protections against evictions, extend unemployment, and provide student loan repayment options.
On Friday morning, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump would use executive authority to provide economic relief if Democrats don’t want to reach a deal. He stated the president wants to keep the economic momentum going. Kudlow argued that by delaying payroll taxes, Trump could make middle-class tax cuts an issue. If he wins, Americans get a temporary, immediate tax cut. Once the election is over, he can sign a bill into law later to give it to taxpayers permanently.
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