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Covid Talk Recap

On Wednesday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said it was Friday or Trump's way. 

On Thursday and Friday Meadows Gave a Hard Line in Coronavirus Talks with Democrats.

Mr. Meadows, joined by Mr. Mnuchin, has met daily with Mrs. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) to hash out differences between a Senate Republican plan totaling $1 trillion and a House Democratic measure that cleared the House in May totaling $3.5 trillion. Late in the week, Democrats proposed a package somewhere around the $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion range, but Republicans rejected it, and talks Friday showed no signs of progress. 

The White House has offered concessions from the initial Republican opening bid, such as agreeing to a $400-a-week federal jobless supplement, up from the Senate GOP proposal for an interim $200-a-week supplement before shifting to a program in which the federal assistance, when combined with state aid, would make up 70% of lost wages. Democrats haven’t budged on their demand for a $600 weekly federal supplement, or their demand for large-scale aid to states and localities, although they have agreed to shorten the duration of such assistance to lower the cost of their plan.

Compromise Fails

I believe $400 is a reasonable compromise but it was a no go. Moreover, that compromise might not have passed the Republican Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who has stayed out of the daily talks, has previously estimated that at least 20 of his colleagues might not support any new stimulus package, amid concerns over mounting federal budget deficits. 

Mr. Meadows “wants to make sure like I do we take care of the people who have lost their jobs,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.). “But you can’t bankrupt the country.”

"You Can't Bankrupt the Country"

There's hypocrisy at its finest. Trump and the Republicans are responsible for massive budget deficits before Covid hit.

Nearly all of the deficit increase went straight to the wealthy and the military. The middle class got next to nothing from Trump's tax cut.

Trump Will Go It Alone

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On August 5 Trump threatened "I will do it myself if I have to. I have a lot of powers with respect to executive orders," said Trump despite the fact he has no constitutional basis to do so.

It seems we are headed that way as Talks on Friday Failed.

Mr. Trump said he was set to take executive action to suspend the payroll tax, retroactive to July 1 and running through the end of the year. He also said he intended to extend recently expired jobless payments through December, but he declined to say how large the payments would be. He reiterated that he would impose a partial moratorium on evictions and assist with student-loan payments.

“If Democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage, I will act under my authority as president to get Americans the relief they need,” said Mr. Trump, in remarks from his club in Bedminster, N.J. He said the orders were being drafted, and he expected potential legal challenges if he moved ahead.

“Unfortunately, we did not make any progress today,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “The chief and I will recommend to the president, based upon our lack of activity today, to move forward with some executive orders.”

Democrats said they had offered Thursday night to scale back their proposed spending by $1 trillion if Republicans increased theirs by $1 trillion. “If we take down a trillion and they add a trillion, we’ll be within range,” Mrs. Pelosi said. She said that Democrats could reduce the cost of their offer by shortening the length of some benefits, such as the 15% increase in food-stamp benefits they have proposed.

Legal, Who Cares?

I highly doubt we see a deal this weekend. Will they even meet?

On the Silly Side

Pandemic Checks Stopped

On July 25 the Clock Ran Out on $600 in Weekly Unemployment Benefits as Republicans and Democrats bickered over the next round of stimulus.

On July 29, Trump announced "So Far Apart on Covid Deal That We Don't Really Care"

Now McConnell says 20 Senators might nix any deal. 

That would guarantee Republicans lose the Senate in November and it is close already.