Democrats, GOP Still at Loggerheads on Virus Aid as Key Deadline Approaches


Negotiations launched, a gulf remains between Democrats’ $3 trillion coronavirus relief proposal and Republicans’ $1 trillion counteroffer.

It’s unclear whether any agreement can be reached between Congress and President Donald Trump before Friday’s deadline for expiring aid.

“We cannot afford to fail,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said as the chamber opened on Tuesday.

Key to the debate is the expiring $600 weekly unemployment benefit. Republicans want to slash it to $200 a week as an incentive to get people back to work. Democrats are refusing to go that low.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is defending cuts to unemployment assistance, saying Democrats “pretend it’s controversial.”

Taylor Swift Faces Fury from Fans, Sparks Backlash Over 'All the Racists' Lyrics - 'So Many Things Wrong About This'

Republicans, he said, believe people should not be paid more while they are at home than they would if they were on the job.

“The American people don’t call that a controversy, they call that common sense,” he said.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi dismissed the GOP’s proposal as “wrong,” and Schumer responded by waving a copy of a New York newspaper on the Senate floor with the headline: “Let them eat cake.”

Both parties are eager for a deal. There is widespread agreement that more money is needed for virus testing, to help schools prepare to open in the fall and to shore up small businesses, but they are far apart on the details.

Do you believe the Democrats' $3 trillion proposal will succeed?

Republicans seek $16 billion for virus testing, but Democrats want $75 billion.

For school reopenings, Democrats want four times the $105 billion Republicans propose.

Republicans propose no new funding for states and cities, preferring to provide flexibility in how they spend previously approved aid.

Democrats propose to give out nearly $1 trillion to avert municipal layoffs of government workers.

One area of common ground is agreement on a new round of $1,200 direct payments to Americans earning $75,000 or less.

Rand Paul: Newly Obtained Documents Show 'Alarming' Extent of 'The Great COVID Cover-Up'

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will return to Capitol Hill after meeting for nearly two hours late Monday with Pelosi and Schumer at the speaker’s office.

As McConnell unveiled his long-awaited proposal on Monday, conservative Republicans broke ranks, arguing the spending was too much and priorities misplaced.

Half the Republican senators could vote against the bill, some warned.

“He has all the Democrats on his side,” Sen. Rand Paul said of the Republican leader.

As bipartisan talks unfold, the White House is now suggesting that a narrower relief package may be all that’s possible with Friday’s approaching deadlines.

The $600 weekly jobless benefits boost, approved as part of the March aid package, officially expires July 31, but because of the way states process unemployment payments, the cutoff was effectively Saturday.

[jwplayer moyrWEeZ]

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City