House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clashed with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer over why Democrats haven’t accepted the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus offer



a close up of a person wearing a costume: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference to mark the anniversary of the House passage of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote, on Capitol Hill May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images


© Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference to mark the anniversary of the House passage of the 19th Amendment and women’s right to vote, on Capitol Hill May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got into a heated argument with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday as the host grilled her on the ongoing negotiations on a second COVID-19 relief package.
  • A second coronavirus relief bill has been stalled in Congress as the Senate and House failed to come to a consensus on the details of the proposal.
  • “Madame Speaker, I’m asking you this because so many people are in desperate need right now,” Blitzer said and asked why Pelosi had not yet reached out to President Donald Trump personally to negotiate.
  • “What makes me amused, if it weren’t so sad, is how you all think that you know the suffering of the American people [more] than those of us who are elected by them to represent them at that table,” Pelosi responded.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clashed with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Tuesday over continued delays in approving another coronavirus stimulus package.

Pelosi appeared on CNN Tuesday, where Blitzer grilled the House Speaker on why Democrats haven’t accepted the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus offer.

A coronavirus relief bill has been stalled in Congress as the Senate and House failed to come to a consensus on the details of the proposal.

Pelosi has been in talks with the White House and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to negotiate a middle ground between House Democrats and the administration, but the conversations over several weeks have so far not produced a bipartisan package.

Blitzer cited criticism from Rep. Ro Khanna and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, with whom the CNN host spoke to on Monday regarding the bill.

“The only thing that’s keeping us from passing it is politics,” Yang said in response to the relief bill delays, encouraging Pelosi to say “yes” to the negotiations.

“Honest to God, I can’t get over it, because Andrew Yang, he’s lovely; Ro Khanna, he’s lovely,” Pelosi replied. “But they have no idea of the particulars. They have no idea of what the language is here.”

“Madame Speaker, I’m asking you this because so many people are in desperate need right now,” Blitzer said and then asked why Pelosi had not yet reached out to President Donald Trump personally to negotiate and provide relief from the fallout of the pandemic sooner.

“What makes me amused, if it weren’t so sad, is how you all think that you know the suffering of the American people [more] than those of us who are elected by them to represent them at that table,” Pelosi responded to the question.

“It is unfortunate that we don’t have shared values with this White House and … that we have to fight with them

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Nancy Pelosi blasts the White House’s $1.8 trillion stimulus offer and lists 8 areas with ‘deficiencies’



Nancy Pelosi wearing a blue shirt: The House passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus to help keep the US economy afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images


© Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images
The House passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus to help keep the US economy afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped into the Trump administration’s virus relief proposal on Tuesday.
  • “A fly on the wall or wherever else it might land in the Oval Office tells me that the President only wants his name on a check to go out before Election Day and for the market to go up,” Pelosi said in a letter to House Democrats.
  • She listed eight areas where Democrats said it had “deficiencies,” among them state and local aid, virus testing, and tax credits for low-income individuals.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi fiercely criticized the Trump administration’s $1.8 stimulus offer for the third time on Tuesday, and outlined eight areas where Democrats say the plan falls woefully short.

She argued that President Donald Trump’s interest in an economic relief package stems from a desire to send another wave of $1,200 stimulus checks and juice the stock market.

“A fly on the wall or wherever else it might land in the Oval Office tells me that the President only wants his name on a check to go out before Election Day and for the market to go up,” Pelosi said in a letter to House Democrats.

The White House plan includes $1,200 direct payments, $400 weekly federal unemployment benefits, $300 billion in aid to state and local governments, and funds for virus testing and tracing.

The California Democrat listed eight areas with significant “deficiencies:”

  • Aid to state and local governments.
  • Coronavirus testing.
  • Tax credits for families and low-income individuals.
  • Rental assistance.
  • Workplace protections and childcare.
  • Federal funds for states to conduct safe elections.
  • Relief for small businesses.
  • Census funding.

Pelosi called for “significant changes” to the White House plan.

Read more: A $2.5 billion investment chief highlights the stock-market sectors poised to benefit the most if stimulus is passed after the election — and says Trump ending negotiations doesn’t threaten the economic recovery

Negotiations on another stimulus package appear to be deadlocked once again after the Trump administration bumped up its stimulus offer to $1.8 trillion on Friday. Both parties panned the proposal over the weekend. Republicans assailed it as a costly package while Democrats contended it didn’t do enough to address the public health and economic crises.

The on-again, off-again talks between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin entered a volatile period last week after Trump ended them and revived the discussions a few days later. But there’s been no major headway with Democrats calling for at least $2.2 trillion in spending. The Democratic-led House approved an economic aid package earlier this month.

Trump is doubling down on his efforts to secure a coronavirus relief package with three weeks to go before Election Day as polls indicate he is trailing his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

The president called on Republicans to approve a federal rescue package on

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Pelosi rejects White House stimulus offer as ‘wholly insufficient’

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues calling the Trump administration’s latest stimulus offer “wholly insufficient.”
  • Over the weekend, the White House proposed a $1.8 trillion measure, a figure that’s too high for many Senate Republicans and too low for House Democrats.
  • On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urged Democrats to pass a measure repurposing leftover funds from the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Trump administration’s latest stimulus proposal is “grossly inadequate,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic colleagues on Sunday, suggesting Congress and the White House are no closer to a deal on a coronavirus relief package.

Over the weekend, the White House proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus measure, angering both Senate Republicans, who consider that number far too high, and House Democrats, who passed a $2.2 trillion proposal last month.

The White House proposal includes a $400 boost in weekly unemployment insurance, $1,200 stimulus checks for US adults, and $1,000 checks for each child, The Washington Post reported.

Democrats have pushed for a $600 increase in weekly unemployment benefits and $1,200 checks for child dependents, as well as substantially more funding for state and local governments.

In her Oct. 11 letter, Pelosi decried the administration’s proposal, saying the disagreements have to do with more than the top-line numbers.

“[I]n terms of addressing testing, tracing, and treatment, what the Trump administration has offered is wholly insufficient,” she wrote.

Senate Republicans are equally unimpressed, CNN reported. “I don’t get it,” Florida Sen. Rick Scott told White House officials on a phone call this weekend, two sources told the news outlet. Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said the larger White House proposal would “deflate” the GOP base, the sources said.

With a deal between the White House and Congress seemingly out of reach, the Trump administration is also lobbying for a stimulus measure that would repurpose $135 billion in leftover funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, Politico reported.

Democrats have previously shown little interest in the idea, complaining about a lack of transparency with respect to how PPP funds were used — and seeking a much larger stimulus for an economy in recession.

In their appeal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urged an end to the impasse, which last week saw President Trump call off negotiations before reversing himself in the wake of bipartisan anger.

“The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people,” the officials wrote.

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Lowcountry garden experts offer advice on combatting pervasive Virginia buttonweed | Features

The luscious lawns fronting Lowcountry homes aren’t immune to the warm-weather weeds that can leave lasting effects. 

Doveweed, nutsedge and chamberbitter are a few troublesome herbs that garden caretakers regularly encounter during spring and summer months when they fight to maintain healthy green spaces. 



Gardening: Diagnosing a plant pest problem takes some legwork

But Lowcountry residents have increasingly encountered what some agree to be the monster of all weeds, one that returns and keeps attacking no matter how many times it’s sprayed with herbicides during the summer, or dug out of the ground.

The Virginia buttonweed is deeply rooted and thrives in overly moist lawns. The pervasive, dark-green turfgrass weed that produces tiny white flowers above ground can be seen in yards across the Charleston region. It sprawls across yards with no mercy, often leaving behind brown patches.

It isn’t only impacting South Carolina residents. 



Virginia buttonweed

Carol Turnwald Feldhaus works to get rid of the Virginia buttonweed in her Summerville front yard Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. The pervasive plant has invaded lawns across the Lowcountry and proves difficult to uproot. The plant is considered the “monster of all weeds,” according to some experts. It’s dark green and often identified by its white, above-ground flowers. Brad Nettles/Staff




The weed is rapidly spreading along Atlantic Coastal states and is now spreading inland in the United States, said Bert McCarty, professor of turfgrass science at Clemson University.

Randy Howie, who works in the diagnostics center at Hyams Garden and Accent Store, regularly sees customers who bring the plant to the store asking for solutions.

“The Virginia buttonweed has been the No. 1 thing people have brought in,” he said.

The weed has gained a presence in homeowner’s yards mainly due to its ability to produce both above and below-ground flowers, which in turn produce viable seeds, McCarty said.

Therefore, even it the tops are controlled or removed, the plant can still reproduce from below-ground seeds.



Summerville's Katie's Krops reflects on over a decade of national community garden work

What makes it even more frustrating is the herbicides used to kill Virginia buttonweed aren’t effective in weather above 90 degrees.

Howie recommends Weed Free Zone, but the product is only effective during cooler months, when the temperature is below 90.

Homeowners also can use Image Kills Nutsedge, though the product will only suppress the plant, not eradicate it.

Get a weekly list of tips on pop-ups, last minute tickets and little-known experiences hand-selected by our newsroom in your inbox each Thursday.

The main way people can combat the pervasive weed is with preventive measures, such as applying pre-emergent products in February, then again in May or early June. Doing so prevents buttonweed seeds left over from the previous year from germinating and producing more weeds the following summer.

“The key is prevention,” Howie said. “Preventing it as much as you can is going to give you the best control.”



Virginia buttonweed

Carol Turnwald Feldhaus works to eliminate Virginia buttonweed in her Summerville front yard Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. The pervasive plant has invaded lawns across the Lowcountry and proves difficult to uproot.

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Nancy Pelosi merely panned the White House’s $1.8 trillion relief offer, but Republicans revolted against it.

Senate Republicans revolted over the contours of a $1.8 trillion relief proposal that is the Trump administration’s latest and largest offer to House Democrats, further jeopardizing already dim prospects for an agreement on a broad stimulus bill before Election Day.

Even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted that the offer remained inadequate, many Republican senators lashed into the administration’s approach to the revived negotiations during a conference call on Saturday morning between close to half of the chamber’s Republicans and top administration officials.

The $1.8 trillion proposal that Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, put forward on Friday was the administration’s biggest offer since bipartisan negotiations began in late summer. The proposal came just days after President Trump abruptly ended negotiations and then, facing a backlash, reversed course and began urgently seeking to secure Democratic support for a deal.

The stark divisions between most Senate Republicans and the White House undercut the potential for an agreement before the election on Nov. 3, even as the country’s economic recovery continues to falter and tens of thousands of Americans, businesses and schools struggle to weather the pandemic without federal relief.

The Republican criticism on Saturday was so severe that Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, at one point told the senators on the conference call that he would relay their concerns to Mr. Trump, but that then “you all will have to come to my funeral.” (Mr. Mnuchin concurred.)

Details of the call were described in some manner by seven people briefed on the discussion, who all insisted on anonymity to disclose details of a private conversation.

Most of the senators who spoke on the call signaled an openness to continuing negotiations. However, there was widespread dissatisfaction with how expensive the administration’s offer had become, as well as with the perception that Mr. Mnuchin, in talks with Ms. Pelosi, was relying far more on the Democrats’ proposed $2.2 trillion plan as a baseline than the two more limited proposals put forward by Senate Republicans.

“There’s no appetite right now to spend the White House number or the House number,” Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said on the call, reflecting longstanding concerns among senators eager to protect their credentials as fiscal hawks and stave off primary challengers in the next election cycle.

Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee warned that accepting a bill with Ms. Pelosi’s support would amount to a “death knell” for Republican ambitions to retain their majority in the Senate and would “deflate” the party’s base.

Ms. Pelosi, for her part, informed Democratic lawmakers on Saturday that she found elements of Mr. Mnuchin’s proposal to be inadequate, writing in a letter that “this proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back.”

“When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold,” Ms. Pelosi wrote, adding “at this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities.” She ticked off a number of unresolved

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White House COVID-19 aid offer is panned by Pelosi, Senate GOP

WASHINGTON — A new White House coronavirus aid offer got bad reviews from both ends of the political spectrum on Saturday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected the most generous Trump administration plan to date as “one step forward, two steps back.” The Republicans who control the Senate dismissed it as too expensive and a political loser for conservatives.

Pelosi said she is still hopeful that progress can be made toward a deal but it’s as clear as ever that GOP conservatives don’t want a deal on her terms.

The White House had boosted its offer before Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi spoke on Friday afternoon. President Donald Trump is eager for an agreement before Election Day, even as his most powerful GOP ally in the Senate said Congress is unlikely to deliver relief by then.

“Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” Trump said Friday on Twitter.

The new offer totals about $1.8 trillion, aides familiar with it said, with a key state and local fiscal relief component moving from $250 billion to at least $300 billion. The White House says its most recent offer before that was about $1.6 trillion. The aides were not authorized to publicly discuss private negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pelosi’s most recent public offer was about $2.2 trillion, though that included a business tax increase that Republicans won’t go for.

In a letter Saturday to colleagues, Pelosi said, “This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back. When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold.”

She said that while his administration attempted to address some of the Democratic concerns, disagreement remained on many priorities and Democrats are “awaiting language” on several provisions.

“Despite these unaddressed concerns, I remain hopeful that yesterday’s developments will move us closer to an agreement on a relief package that addresses the health and economic crisis facing America’s families,” Pelosi’s letter said.

Mnuchin’s latest offer also got a roasting from GOP senators, who weighed in on a conference call Saturday morning, according to a Republican familiar with the call who was not authorized to discuss the call publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Many conservatives are skeptical of so much deficit-financed aid in the first place, and Pelosi-sought provisions such as expanding eligibility for the Affordable Care Act landed with a thud.

Pragmatists such as Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio and politically endangered Republicans including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina appear willing to “go big” as Trump wants. But rank-and-file Republicans — Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rick Scott of Florida, and John Barrasso of Wyoming, for example — are adamantly opposed to another relief bill that’s so generous.

GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remains skeptical of the chances for an agreement, having told an audience in Kentucky on Friday that he didn’t see a deal coming together before Election Day.

“I think

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Senate Republicans Denounce White House’s Offer for Coronavirus Relief

Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a Republican, warned that accepting a bill with Ms. Pelosi’s support would amount to a “death knell” for the party’s ambitions to retain its majority in the Senate and would “deflate” the Republican base, reflecting longstanding concerns among senators eager to protect their credentials as fiscal hawks and stave off primary challengers in the next election cycle.

Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, declared that accepting a Democratic push to expand elements of the Affordable Care Act would be “an enormous betrayal” of Republican voters. Republicans have also voiced concerns that the health care provisions Democrats have pressed for could result in the use of federal funds for abortions, a characterization Democrats dispute.

“I don’t get it,” Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, said of the administration’s efforts to reach a sweeping bipartisan deal with House Democrats, echoing the sentiments of multiple senators.

Ms. Pelosi, for her part, informed Democratic lawmakers that she found elements of Mr. Mnuchin’s proposal to be inadequate, writing in a letter on Saturday that “this proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back.” After scaling down House Democrats’ original $3.4 trillion proposal to $2.2 trillion, she has been unwilling to accept much less than that.

“When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold,” Ms. Pelosi wrote, adding “at this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities.” She ticked off a number of unresolved issues, including what she said was insufficient funding for unemployment benefits, child care, and state and local governments, and “reckless” liability protections that Republicans have insisted are a priority.

She said she was waiting for specific language from the administration about several provisions, including a national strategy for testing and tracing to contain the spread of the virus. It remained unclear whether she and Mr. Mnuchin would speak over the weekend.

Moderate Republicans, particularly those who are facing tough re-election races, are among the few senators who have voiced support for a bipartisan coronavirus deal and expressed few reservations about the pice tag. A handful of those senators, on a private call with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, pushed for action on a bipartisan deal, particularly after Mr. Trump briefly withdrew negotiators from talks and gave Democrats political cover for failure to reach an agreement.

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White House virus aid offer is panned by Pelosi, Senate GOP

A new White House coronavirus aid has gotten bad reviews from both ends of the political spectrum

WASHINGTON — A new White House coronavirus aid offer got bad reviews from both ends of the political spectrum on Saturday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected the most generous Trump administration plan to date as “one step forward, two steps back.” The Republicans who control the Senate dismissed it as too expensive and a political loser for conservatives.

Pelosi said she is still hopeful that progress can be made toward a deal but it’s as clear as ever that GOP conservatives don’t want a deal on her terms.

“Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” Trump said Friday on Twitter.

The new offer totals about $1.8 trillion, aides familiar with it said, with a key state and local fiscal relief component moving from $250 billion to at least $300 billion. The White House says its most recent offer before that was about $1.6 trillion. The aides were not authorized to publicly discuss private negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pelosi’s most recent public offer was about $2.2 trillion, though that included a business tax increase that Republicans won’t go for.

In a letter Saturday to colleagues, Pelosi said, “This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back. When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold.”

She said that while his administration attempted to address some of the Democratic concerns, disagreement remained on many priorities and Democrats are “awaiting language” on several provisions.

Mnuchin’s latest offer also got a roasting from GOP senators, who weighed in on a conference call Saturday morning, according to a Republican familiar with the call who was not authorized to discuss the call publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Many conservatives are skeptical of so much deficit-financed aid in the first place, and Pelosi-sought provisions such as expanding eligibility for the Affordable Care Act landed with a thud.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismisses latest White House coronavirus aid offer

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday dismissed the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks as “one step forward, two steps back,” but said she is still hopeful that progress can be made toward a deal.

The White House had boosted its offer before Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi spoke on Friday afternoon. President Donald Trump is eager for an agreement before Election Day, even as his most powerful GOP ally in the Senate said Congress is unlikely to deliver relief by then.

“Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” Trump said Friday on Twitter.

A GOP aide familiar with the new offer said it was about $1.8 trillion, with a key state and local fiscal relief component moving from $250 billion to at least $300 billion. The White House says its most recent offer before that was about $1.6 trillion. The aide was not authorized to publicly discuss private negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pelosi’s most recent public offer was about $2.2 trillion, though that included a business tax increase that Republicans won’t go for.

“I would like to see a bigger stimulus package than either the Democrats or Republicans are offering,” Trump said on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show Friday. Earlier in the week, Trump lambasted Democrats for their demands on an aid bill.

In a letter Saturday to colleagues, Pelosi said, “This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back. When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold.”

She said that while his administration attempted to address some of the Democratic concerns, disagreement remained on many priorities and Democrats are “awaiting language” on several provisions.

“Despite these unaddressed concerns, I remain hopeful that yesterday’s developments will move us closer to an agreement on a relief package that addresses the health and economic crisis facing America’s families,” Pelosi’s letter said.

But GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had told an audience in Kentucky that he didn’t see a deal coming together soon out of a “murky” situation in which the participants in the negotiations are elbowing for political advantage.

“I’d like to see us rise above that like we did in March and April, but I think it’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” McConnell said Friday. He said later that “the first item of priority of the Senate is the Supreme Court,” suggesting there isn’t time to process both a relief bill and the high court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett before the Nov. 3 election.

He spoke after Trump apparently performed an about-face, empowering Mnuchin to resume negotiations with Pelosi, D-Calif., on a larger, comprehensive package despite calling off the talks just days before.

McConnell remains a skeptic that a deal can come together — and he has issued private warnings that many Senate Republicans will oppose a deal in the range that Pelosi is seeking.

“We do need

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Pelosi dismisses latest White House coronavirus aid offer

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday dismissed the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks as “one step forward, two steps back,” but said she is still hopeful that progress can be made toward a deal.

The White House had boosted its offer before Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi spoke on Friday afternoon. President Donald Trump is eager for an agreement before Election Day, even as his most powerful GOP ally in the Senate said Congress is unlikely to deliver relief by then.

“Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” Trump said Friday on Twitter.


A GOP aide familiar with the new offer said it was about $1.8 trillion, with a key state and local fiscal relief component moving from $250 billion to at least $300 billion. The White House says its most recent offer before that was about $1.6 trillion. The aide was not authorized to publicly discuss private negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pelosi’s most recent public offer was about $2.2 trillion, though that included a business tax increase that Republicans won’t go for.

“I would like to see a bigger stimulus package than either the Democrats or Republicans are offering,” Trump said on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show Friday. Earlier in the week, Trump lambasted Democrats for their demands on an aid bill.

In a letter Saturday to colleagues, Pelosi said, “This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back. When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold.”

She said that while his administration attempted to address some of the Democratic concerns, disagreement remained on many priorities and Democrats are “awaiting language” on several provisions.

“Despite these unaddressed concerns, I remain hopeful that yesterday’s developments will move us closer to an agreement on a relief package that addresses the health and economic crisis facing America’s families,” Pelosi’s letter said.

But GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had told an audience in Kentucky that he didn’t see a deal coming together soon out of a “murky” situation in which the participants in the negotiations are elbowing for political advantage.

“I’d like to see us rise above that like we did in March and April, but I think it’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” McConnell said Friday. He said later that “the first item of priority of the Senate is the Supreme Court,” suggesting there isn’t time to process both a relief bill and the high court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett before the Nov. 3 election.

He spoke after Trump apparently performed an about-face, empowering Mnuchin to resume negotiations with Pelosi, D-Calif., on a larger, comprehensive package despite calling off the talks just days before.

McConnell remains a skeptic that a deal can come together — and he has issued private warnings that many Senate Republicans will oppose a deal in the range that Pelosi is seeking.

“We do

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