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Mnuchin to Push Trump on Unemployment Benefit Order

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday afternoon that he and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will recommend President Donald Trump “move forward with some executive orders,” including unemployment benefits, due to the lack of progress made with Democrats on the next economic stimulus deal.

“We do agree with the Speaker [of the House Nancy Pelosi] that this is not the first choice, but people have run out of the enhanced unemployment and that is something that we will recommend an executive order on,” Mnuchin said during a press briefing.

Executive orders also will be recommended on rental foreclosures and student loans, added the Treasury secretary.

President Donald Trump “would like us to make a deal,” Mnuchin said. “Unfortunately, we did not make any progress today. We discussed the same issues.”

To the extent that Democrats are “willing to make new proposals,” he continued, Meadows “and I will be back here any time to listen to new proposals.”

Republicans have asked Democrats for specific compromises on state and local aid as well as unemployment benefits, Mnuchin explained.

“We have not received proposals on that,” he said. However, there are other areas “where we have made a lot of progress.”

“We do agree. Legislation is better for the American people” the Treasury secretary stated. “We are very focused on kids and jobs, these are critical issues.”

Despite the fact that we had a “very good jobs’ number this morning, there’s still too many people that are out of work through no fault of their own because of the coronavirus.”

Democrats’ View

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stated during the Friday afternoon press briefing that he and Pelosi had a “disappointing meeting” with Mnuchin and Meadows.

Schumer said Democrats had hoped if “we come down a trillion on our offer, which is $3.4 [trillion], and they come up a trillion from their top number, which is $1 [trillion] … we could begin to meet in the middle. Unfortunately [Republicans] rejected it.”

Republicans said “they couldn’t go much above their existing $1 trillion, and that was disappointing,” the Democrat explained.

The bottom line, Schumer said, “is that there are really only two choices for them — negotiate with Democrats and meet us in the middle … or … do executive orders, which is, by their own admission …  not close to [being] as good.”

An executive order doesn’t cover school openings, testing, rental assistance and elections, he added, “so many things — there’s a long list.”

Democrats are “hopeful” that Republicans will “come back and tell us they’re willing to meet us halfway,” according to Schumer.

Pelosi added: “I’ve told them to come back when you are ready to give us a higher number.”


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