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Friday, July 19, 2024

Congressional Dems Scoff at Mnuchin’s ‘Overture’ to Revive COVID Relief Talks

'The Democrats have no interest in negotiating...'

(Headline USA) The White House’s top negotiator tried to revive stalled talks Wednesday over coronavirus aid, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer dismissed the “overture,” saying the Trump administration is still refusing to meet them halfway.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reached out to the Democratic leaders as it becomes increasingly unlikely there will not be any new relief for Americans until Congress resumes in September.

“The Democrats have no interest in negotiating,” Mnuchin said.

The House is now on recess with the Senate only nominally in session until the end of this week.

Lawmakers are being told they could be recalled to Washington on 24-hour notice, but there are few signs of a breakthrough.

Pelosi and Schumer tried to capitalize on the crisis, yet again, to use the stimulus as leverage for pushing through an array of wish-list items on their agenda.

That reportedly included radical measures that would likely have undermined election integrity, such as mailing ballots to every registered voter in the country, regardless of how accurate the jurisdiction’s voter rolls were.

Democrats have sought from the very day that Trump declared a national health emergency to push for conducting a mail-in election that would result in chaos and undermine faith in the electoral system.

Even so, in the stimulus debate, the two sides are said to have reached an impasse largely on just a single issue: the question of providing bailout funding to reward financial insolvency of blue regions, many of which have drained their own coffers by offering generous social benefits to illegal aliens in defiance of federal law.

In their joint statement, the Democrats said Mnuchin made an “overture” to meet.

The treasury secretary called the Democratic leaders on Wednesday, according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private call.

“Democrats have compromised,” they claimed, repeating what has now become a stale talking point.

They once again noted that they dropped their initial $3.5 trillion proposal by $1 trillion and expect President Donald Trump’s team to raise its $1 trillion offer by a similar amount to $2 trillion. “However, it is clear that the Administration still does not grasp the magnitude of the problems that American families are facing.”

They said, “We have again made clear to the Administration that we are willing to resume negotiations once they start to take this process seriously.”

Mnuchin said the Democrats’ statement “is not an accurate reflection of our conversation.”

He said Pelosi made it clear that she was unwilling to continue negotiations “unless we agreed in advance to her proposal, costing at least $2 trillion.”

Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also briefed GOP senators privately on Wednesday, but Republicans said there was no further information on next steps.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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