Stephen Gardner gives an update on where negotiations stand between the White House and Congress on the next round of Covid19 stimulus.
President Trump said this week that he would like to see Americans get more than the $1,200 in direct payments they received in the last stimulus package.
“If they are going to do the 1200 they may be able to get by with a trillion dollars,” Gardner says. “If they’re going to do higher than that then they may need to raise that. As of right now 1200 is the number.”
Gardner also described the negotiations around unemployment extensions.
Republicans want to replace the $600 benefit Americans were getting with one that pay Americans only up to 70% of their lost wages. They say the $600 benefit meant some Americans were getting more from unemployment than they were getting from their paychecks, thus dis-incentivizing a return to work.
“A new plan yesterday…to extend unemployment was blocked for being too complicated because of trying to figure out the 70% wages for tens of millions of Americans. A second bill was then proposed and that was blocked for being easy to implement but too expensive for the American taxpayer. I’m not sure why they can’t just meet in the middle and find compromise and get something passed for the American people,” Gardner laments.
“According to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, four different unemployment and eviction bills were presented so Democrats would have options to review and pick the best one. However, Democrats rejected all four offers,” he adds.
Gardner also gives a sober assessment of where the negotiations stand right now.
“If you are confused by all this rejection I just want to say that you are not alone. It’s confusing and…it’s frustrating as well. Negotiations are supposed to resume today between Pelosi and Schumer and Mark Meadows and Steve Mnuchin. However, Pelosi and Schumer said they are only willing to negotiate over the phone,” Gardner says.
“Negotiations have gotten so bad that senator Mitch McConnell won’t even go in the room and has had Chief of Staff Mark Meadows take over his place. McConnell said it is so bad Democrats won’t even negotiate. They want it their way or the highway.”