Days of marathon talks between Democratic leaders in the House and Senate – and the Trump administration – have ended without a second stimulus deal.
On Friday, President Trump held a surprise news conference to criticize the failed talks and threatened to issue an executive order, though it’s not clear if he has the authority to do that.
“If Democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage, I will act under my authority as president to get Americans the relief they need,” he said.
If no deal can be reached, president Trump said he would issue a sweeping executive order extending enhanced unemployment benefits and eviction protections.
He also promises to defer student loans, defer payroll taxes and order insurance companies to cover pre-existing medical conditions, which is already the law under Obama Care.
President Trump concedes he’ll likely be sued because it’s not clear if he has the power to issue some of those orders.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walked away from negotiations disappointed.
“I offered to them, ‘we’ll take down a trillion, if you add a trillion in,’ they said ‘absolutely not,’” said Pelosi.
The president’s negotiators balked at the Democrats’ plan to guarantee the $600 enhanced unemployment payments as well as aid to states.
“What they want is a $2.5 trillion blank check,” said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Absent from these negotiations are Republican senate leaders, a sign the majority in the Senate remains sharply divided.
“The house came up with this 10 weeks ago,” said NBC Bay Area’s Political Analyst Larry Gerston. “The senate came back a week ago and between this week and that week they’re going, well, we’re trying to work it through, but we’ll offer you this or that.”
There is still hope that a second stimulus package will be passed in some form next week.
Source: NBC Bay Area