Nancy Pelosi wouldn't budge this week when it came to Democratic demands for the next stimulus bill. Both the Democrats and Republicans, including The White House representatives, remained at a standstill on negotiations on a second stimulus package. According to Pelosi, the situation between each side is at a "tragic impasse."
Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had a lengthy discussion on the phone Thursday, the first time the two have spoken in weeks. According to NBC News, the 25-minute phone call provided no gains for each side and left Pelosi complaining about the GOP position.
"[This] conversation made clear that the White House continues to disregard the needs of the American people as the coronavirus crisis devastates lives and livelihoods.," Pelosi said after the phone call. "Democrats are willing to resume negotiations once Republicans start to take this process seriously. Lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy are at stake."
According to Pelosi, the negotiations are at a "tragic impasse" as GOP lawmakers and President Donald Trump refuse to meet Democratic lawmakers at their $2 trillion package, opting for a lower path. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow even went another step forward by claiming economic recovery doesn't need a second stimulus to happen. Kudlow's comments come weeks after negotiations stalled and Trump decided to sign a quartet of executive orders that are still raising questions.
Republican lawmakers are reportedly preparing a narrow bill of their own in contrast to Democratic appeals to direct payments and unemployment support similar to the initial CARES act bill passed back in March. For the GOP plan, direct payments would not be included. Unemployment, small business loan authorization, school funding, and coronavirus treatment funding remain the focus for GOP lawmakers. Much like the Democratic HEROES act that passed the house months ago, any GOP bill likely won't pass the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
The same can be said about the emergency funding that passed the House over the weekend, aimed at "saving" the U.S. Postal Service. Pelosi turned down the chance to pass a single bill extending unemployment benefits included in the CARES act. GOP lawmakers criticized the USPS bill when it was released. Where it goes from here remains to be seen but Trump and other lawmakers feel that their plan will triumph.