Speed Reads

so very stuck

Stimulus bill talks hit another dead end after 2 weeks of negotiations

Congressional Democrats and White House leaders didn't solve anything during a Friday meeting meant to hammer out the next CARES Act, closing out a second week of negotiations with next to nothing to show for them.

The main problem, CNN's Phil Mattingly reports, is that Democrats don't have the votes to support any bill under $2 trillion and Republicans won't accept anything over it. Those sticking points led to what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called a "disappointing meeting" with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday.

While Democrats offered to slash $1 trillion off their $3.4 trillion proposal if Republicans added $1 trillion to theirs to meet in the middle, the White House officials refused, Pelosi told reporters after the meeting. "I've told them, 'Come back when you are ready to give us a higher number,'" Pelosi continued. Pelosi later issued a statement to House Democrats laying out just how far apart the parties are on the bill.

The impasse means out-of-work Americans are still without a boost to their unemployment insurance, after Democrats refused to agree to Republicans' standalone measure to temporarily continue the $600/week addition that's been in place since early in the pandemic. Time is also running short on divvying funding to improve online education programs, as some schools have already reopened.