Bipartisan talks aimed at finding a deal on a fifth coronavirus bill collapsed on Friday, all-but-guaranteeing Congress and the White House will not be able to reach a compromise despite a steady uptick in cases and lingering economic aftershocks.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows met for less than two hours with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) as part of a Hail Mary effort to revive the negotiations on a fifth coronavirus bill, which already appeared to be on life support.
But they emerged with no progress. Instead, the GOP negotiators and Democratic leadership traded blame over the impasse, and the administration officials said they will recommend President Trump move forward with executive orders as soon as this weekend.
Schumer and Pelosi said they doubled down on their offer to reduce their $3.4 trillion price tag in exchange for Republicans agreeing to raise their figure by $1 trillion, but were rebuffed.
“They rejected it. They said they couldn’t go much above their existing $1 trillion,” Schumer said. “Meet us in the middle, God’s sake, please for the sake of America. Meet us in the middle, don’t say my way or no way, which is what they’re saying they don’t want to come off their number.”