Pelosi dismisses Trump's offer of executive action on covid relief

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie U.S. President Trump holds a COVID-19 pandemic briefing at the White House in Washington

Reuters JONATHAN ERNST U.S. President Trump holds a COVID-19 pandemic briefing at the White House in Washington

With Congress too polarized to quickly negotiate the upcoming coronavirus relief package, the Trump administration has considered looking into action to continue the eviction moratorium, temporarily cut payroll tax and extend unemployment benefits. The White House hasn't disclosed details of how such actions would be put into place. Asked why Republicans as well as Democrats can not agree with that, she said: "Perhaps you mistook them [Republicans] for somebody who gives a damn".

Pelosi also took the opportunity during the interview to drop a well-timed troll, saying that she "hopes" President Donald Trump carries out his threat to act unilaterally on extending the eviction moratorium.

In May, the Democratic-controlled House passed a $3 trillion aid bill that included around $1 trillion to help state and local governments that have revenue shortfalls because of the huge slowdown in economic activity related to the pandemic.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said a legislative solution was the goal, but Mr. Trump was "fully prepared to use his executive authority to help those who continue to be impacted".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday the US economy needs an "additional boost" to cope with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, as Republicans and Democrats remained far apart about what to include in another wave of relief.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said that the negotiators relayed a similar message to the full GOP conference during their policy lunch. According to multiple news reports, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hopes to have a compromise stimulus bill this week for a vote next week.

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Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer were due to join Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for more talks at the U.S. Capitol at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).

The quartet was expected to meet again early Thursday evening.

"That needs some acts of federal government to do that ..."

"Our objective is to try to reach an understanding of the major issues by Friday", Mnuchin told reporters after Wednesday's meeting with Pelosi and Schumer.

And The Hill noted that McConnell had told supporters last month that "until we find a vaccine, (masks) are really important". He agreed with Mr. Schumer that the talks had stalled because of an overarching disagreement over how much aid was warranted.

"As you can see the Democrats in the Congress are unified", Pelosi said, "At the same time, Republicans are in disarray".

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"We're trying to get a deal that's good for the American public and American workers", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters after almost two hours of talks on Wednesday. "At the moment, it doesn't look promising".

Republican leaders have proposed passing a smaller aid package that addresses some items while leaving negotiations on others for later.

The Democrats have been unwilling to strike a deal with Republicans on the next coronavirus stimulus relief package.

The two sides have remained far apart on how much to spend in federal jobless assistance, which provided $600 a week before it expired in July. "A skinny package, a package that doesn't solve so numerous problems that America faces, would hurt the American people", Schumer said Wednesday. Democrats have pushed back against such arguments. Democrats haven't budged from their demand of $600.

-Natalie Andrews and Kate Davidson contributed to this article.

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