Congress turns to special caucus to progress negotiations on stimulus package

Yesterday, I wrote about Donald Trump expressing outright support for various stimulus package measures but also calling out Democrats as the reason to why no package has been finalized.

This weekend, we have a little bit more details on the efforts being made to get a package passed and on where things stand between Democrats and Republicans.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to place blame on Republicans and Donald Trump for negotiations stalling stating progress on the negotiations is “complicated by the complete disarray on the Republican side — as President Donald Trump contradicts his own negotiators and his own position.”

There is definitely truth to the statement.

First, there is division among Republicans as to whether or not any additional funding should happen. That fact alone has made things complicated.

There have also been mixed signals between the White House and Republicans.

Trump initially made statements that he preferred a top line even higher than what was proposed by Democrats which was a $3.4 trillion stimulus package known as the HEROES act.

An act which by the way passed three months ago.

Trump has also made bold proclamations as to the need for an additional stimulus package and for what the contents of that package will entail, only to shift to now insisting that Americans can “happily live with or without” another congressional stimulus bill.

So there definitely has been mixed messaging from the Republican/White House side of things.

On the other hand, Democrats did come in strong by beginning negotiations at a $3.4 trillion price tag which they knew would not fly with Republicans.

Democrats are willing to drop this price tag by at least $1 trillion though so they have softened up with the hopes that Republicans would do the same as well.

Something very frustrating to many people is that there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency with officials right now.

President Trump still has not spent time meeting with the top Democratic Congressional leaders and when asked about why that’s the case he simply said, “When it’s right I’ll meet, but right now it’s not right.”

I don’t know about you but if you polled the millions of Americans currently waiting on government aid to get them through this pandemic, I would venture to guess that they would say it’s about the right time.

The good news is that a small group of people from the House’s bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus spoke with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about how to end the impasse.

“We had a productive, hour-long discussion about ways to help break the logjam between the parties, get negotiators back in the room, and help America in our response to the Covid crisis. We anticipate future meetings,” a person on the call told CNN.

So there are efforts being taken behind the scenes to get negotiations back on track which is slightly encouraging.

However, all the current signals suggest that all of the involved parties are still quite a ways apart when it comes to reaching final agreement.

H/T

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