Democratic leadership and Republican leaders failed to reach an agreement on coronavirus legislation Friday, which has prompted President Donald Trump to say he plans to go “a different way.”
“Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way,” said Trump.
Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2020
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have been leading talks for the Democratic side, which passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package in the House back in May to serve as a negotiating starting point. Republicans, on the other hand, capped spending in a relief proposal outlined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) last month at $1 trillion — and even then, not everyone in the Senate was on board with it.
The spending gap between the two proposals has made negotiations over the past two weeks difficult and ultimately has steered Republican and Democratic negotiators toward an impasse.
Seemingly in preparation for this possibility, an unnamed White House official told Fox News on Monday that “the administration is considering a number of options that might be available without congressional legislative action.”
It now seems that this is the direction the White House is headed.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that he and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, will now encourage the president to pursue executive orders, “based upon our lack of activity today.”
While the exact nature of these potential executive orders remains unclear, White House adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox Business on Friday that the Trump administration was looking at using executive orders if the deal-making process fails.
“He is intent on using all of the federal power levers at his disposal,” said Kudlow, who later acknowledged that there are still funds that remain unspent.
After the meeting, Senator Schumer said that Mnuchin and Meadows weren’t willing to increase spending by $1 trillion in order to meet the Democrats halfway between the two proposals, reports Politico.
“There were only two choices for them. Negotiate with Democrats and meet us in the middle, don’t say it’s your way or no way, and if we do that, we can accomplish a whole lot of things,” he said. “The other choice is for them to do executive orders, which by their own admission, they said it to us repeatedly, is not close to as good.”
Pelosi also told reporters on Friday that “I’ve told them, come back when you are ready to give us a higher number,” reports the news agency.