GOP seeks leverage in renewed COVID-19 talks

Republicans are chasing levy in coronavirus negotiations after a week-long stalemate between Congress Democrats and the White House.

Nearly a month after talks about a COVID-19 relief package collapsed, neither side has made major concessions. The prospects of a deal now appear increasingly likely to bleed in late September, as Congress is given a separate deadline to prevent a government shutdown.

GOP senators – who came under heavy criticism earlier this month for leaving Washington without a deal – are trying to finalize a smaller, about $ 500 billion package that would include money for the Postal Service, a federal unemployment benefit of about $ 300 per week, liability protection for schools and businesses, and more money for hospitals and testing.

If Republicans can unite behind a ban bill, they will plead for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Five takeaways on GOP’s groundbreaking convention McConnell: GOP-controlled Senate a ‘firewall’ against Pelosi agenda Madame Tussauds adds mask to Trump figure ahead of museum reopening MORE (R-Ky.) Must force a vote on the measure.

With the strategy, Republicans would put Democrats on record against coronavirus relief just two months before election day – even if the legislation does not bring the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue closer to an agreement.

‘I think we’ll take another shot at that. We are very close to having a bill that Republicans are ready to pass, hopefully as early as next week. “Unfortunately, at the moment it seems at least that the leaders of the Democratic Party in Congress … have decided that it is to their advantage to do nothing at all to them,” Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio Rubio Republicans throw Trump as best choice for women Meadows ‘not optimistic’ over quick end to battle at coronavirus deal Republicans accuse Trump of decimating his ‘Russia hoax’ story MORE (R-Fla.), Who made the provisions for small business legislation, said during an interview with Fox News.

Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely Kennedy MORE (R-La.) Told separately to The Hill that if Republicans “can reach consensus on a package, I’m going to lay it on the floor and give it to senators.”

Senate Republics have trouble uniting behind a coronavirus relief strategy; by McConnell’s own estimate, up to 20 GOP senators are ready to vote against anything. Republicans now hope that by halving their original $ 1 trillion proposal, they can gain more introductory party support, potentially increasing their leverage against Democrats. But even this approach can be challenged on internal roads, as evidenced by the delay in unveiling a bill that was first expected about 10 days ago.

“You know the old adage the sight of the gallows concentrates the mind wonderfully? A lot of people will say I could never vote for it, but when it’s time to do it, they vote for it,” Kennedy said about the potential to garner GOP votes.

The timing of a potential vote is unclear.

Rubio predicted that the bill could be ready as soon as next week. But the Senate is out of session until Sept. 8, and McConnell has already drawn several nominations when the first order of business returns to her.

McConnell, who crossed Kentucky in the current three-week recession, has stressed that he believes another coronavirus deal is needed, but has given no indication that he will try to bring senators back early for a vote.

Asked about a vote for Sept. 8, a McConnell spokesman declined to provide guidance on the Senate scheme. But aid workers determined that following a vote next week would require bilingual consent – something Democrats probably would not give to a GOP-only one.

A spokesman for McConnell said there were currently no plans to change the Senate’s schedule, and assistants said following a vote next week would require a bipartisan vote – something Democrats probably would not give. to a single proposal for GOP.

Republicans faced a wave of heavy criticism after the Senate formally fired on August 13 without reaching an agreement on another coronavirus package – although most senators had already left the previous week and left the house in late July.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is mulling additional executive actions aimed at enlightening industries hard hit by the pandemic. White House of Personnel Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsOn The Money: Democrats Offer Lower Price Ticket for COVID-19 Aid, but the putt continues | Kill dead claims but stay above 1 million | Pelosi predicts Democrats will receive Trump tax return if Biden wins overnight health care: CDC test guidance shift backfires | Democrats offer lower price tag for COVID-19 aid, but patte insists | Trump administration to buy 150 million quick COVID-19 tests Democrats offer lower price tag for COVID-19 aid, but patte remains MORE contrasted the coming orders with the impasse on Capitol Hill. The Senate failed its own bill, while the $ 3.4 trillion package passed by House Democrats in May is considered a nonstarter for Senate Republicans.

“We are looking at other executive actions. … We have four executive actions that the president actually took, we will take a few others. “If this Congress is not going to work, this president will go to work and solve some problems,” Meadows said during a Politico event when asked about potential layoffs of airlines.

Negotiations between Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Democrats Offer Lower Price Ticket for COVID-19 Aid, but Patte Continues | Kill dead claims but stay above 1 million | Pelosi predicts Democrats will receive Trump tax return if Biden wins Democrats offer lower price tag for COVID-19 aid, but stalemates Pelosi digs ahead of coronavirus talks: ‘We will not expand’ MORE, Cracks Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump taunts Democrats in White House speech: ‘We are here and they are not’ McConnell: GOP-controlled senate a ‘firewall’ against Pelosi agenda Ex-Democrat Van Drew speaks more at GOP convention (D-Caliph.) And minority leader of the Senate Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNadler, Maloney signs Markey in Senate primary Mnuchin to testify before House House Coronavirus panel OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate Democrats chart climate change strategy | Green groups challenge Trump to open 82 percent of Alaska reservation for drilling | 87 lawmakers are asking EPA to reverse course after lifting methane regulations MORE (DN.Y.) collapsed earlier this month after days of closed-door negotiations failed to deliver significant progress.

The two sides could not agree on some of the biggest issues: the amount of the weekly federal unemployment benefit and how it would be structured; how much new money should go to state and local governments; and how to address McConnell’s demand for liability protection for businesses, schools, hospitals and other entities.

The trench war has engulfed weeks of debt gaming, with no indication that they are getting any closer to a deal.

IN CNBC / Chance Research poll released Aug. 12, found that among voters in six swing states, 40 percent owe the Democrats the blame for the July 31 fall in the federal unemployment benefit of $ 600 a week, while 39 percent owe Trump and Congress Republicans. Eighteen percent said both sides were equally guilty.

Meadows recently characterized Democrats as wanting a deal, but that Pelosi “really rides this train as conductor more than one.”

Pelosi has taken veiled jabs at Meadows, a former member of the House Freedom Caucus, better known for his ability to inflate deals than make them.

During a recent interview with David AxelrodDavid AxelrodPelosi says there should be no debates between Biden and Trump Biden unites Democrats – for now Pelosi predicts ‘double-digit’ victory in Democratic House seats in November elections MORE, Pelosi characterized Meadows’ role in the negotiations as “Dr. No.” During a press conference Thursday, Pelosi characterized Meadows as Mnuchin’s employee and, at one point, seemed to forget his name.

“We consider what his name is – what is his name? – Meadows there manned Mr. Mnuchin,” said Pelosi.

The stalemate occurs as the coronavirus spreads through the country, with about 5.85 million confirmed cases in the United States and 180,000 deaths. The pandemic has also devastated the economy with another 1 million Americans filing for unemployment last week, according to data from the Labor Department released Thursday. About 30 million Americans are unemployed.

The next monthly report will not be released until Sept. 4, a potential pressure point to make a deal.

But Republicans have opposed calls for Democrats to increase their price tag from roughly $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion. And there’s no sign that Democrats feel pressured to dig.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday that Democrats did not “bend.”

Pelosi and Meadows spoke by telephone later that day for the first time since August 7. Pelosi said Democrats were ready to go for $ 2.2 trillion – about $ 200 billion lower than their previous offer. But she appeared skeptical about a quick deal.

“If they are willing to do that, we will be ready to discuss and negotiate the details,” Pelosi told reporters. “If they are willing to do that, they will leave it to us. I did not get that impression on that call [that they are]. “