Republicans in Congress are angry at Democrats even after the party offered to lower spending costs by $1 trillion in a phase 4 coronavirus stimulus package, as negotiations have stalled.
Democrats originally wanted to spend more than $3 trillion on a relief package compared to the Republicans’ $1 trillion, which many in the party still have reservations about. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have reportedly not been in contact with the White House for nearly one week.
However, Pelosi offered Republicans a deal. Pelosi said Thursday that negotiations will resume only when Republicans agree on $2 trillion, which is $1 trillion less than Democrats had originally asked for. Republicans have not accepted the offer.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who has been leading the negotiation efforts on Capitol Hill on behalf of the White House, said Wednesday that “the Democrats have no interest in negotiating,” something Senate Republicans echoed when asked about the progress of the legislation by the Daily Caller.
“The Pelosi/Schumer team is demanding a $2.5 trillion blank check in order to reach a deal for additional COVID relief for individuals, small businesses, testing, and school children,” Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn told the Daily Caller. “They want money for bailouts for bankrupt cities and states. They want money for mail-in ballots. They just can’t seem to prioritize the needs of hardworking American taxpayers.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced in late July that the House would remain in session until a deal on a stimulus package is reached, but that did not happen. There are now no House votes until Sept. 14, and members will have 24 hours notice to return for any votes related to coronavirus.
This caused President Donald Trump to sign four executive orders Saturday in order to help the unemployed and the economy, effectively bypassing Congress to send money to Americans. Democrats had already left town and criticized the president’s executive orders.
Despite the short-term executive orders, lawmakers have left Washington to return to their home states without a stimulus package and have criticized Trump for signing the orders. On Sunday, Pelosi called Trump’s actions “absurdly unconstitutional.” But Republicans in Congress have defended Trump signing the executive orders and continue to put blame on Pelosi and Schumer for not reaching a deal.
“As long as Democrats calculate that they’re better off playing politics with these negotiations, it’s going to be impossible for us to move forward. Unfortunately, that’s the calculation they’ve made it appears,” Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told the Daily Caller.
Other Republicans have mentioned the need for a relief package to help businesses reopen, accusing Democrats of having an unreasonable proposal. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Congress, White House Unlikely To Deliver Phase 4 Stimulus Before Recess, Sources Say)
“Democrats have cynically decided that it’s in their political interests to keep America shut down until Election Day,” a spokesman for Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told the Daily Caller. “Instead of offering a serious proposal to get Americans safely back to work and the economy back on its feet, Speaker Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have sought to exploit our national crises to advance their partisan objectives – including a $3 trillion bill with massive tax cuts for their billionaire friends in blue states.”
“As Sen. Cruz has said, the American people need a recovery bill – one that is focused on cutting taxes and lifting regulations to help small businesses re-open their doors and re-hire back their employees,” the Cruz spokesman continued. (RELATED: Republicans Furious As Democrats Leave Town With No Deal)
Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s office told the Daily Caller that state governments have only spent around 25% of what they received in the CARES Act, which was signed by Trump in March, saying that money should be spent first.
“State and local governments have only spent about 25% of what they received in the CARES Act. Yet Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are holding up funding for Americans in need because they want to give their states $1 trillion more to spend on liberal programs unrelated to the coronavirus,” Scott’s office told the Daily Caller.
“As Senator Scott told the White House team, if Pelosi, Schumer and the Democrats refuse to negotiate in good faith, then we shouldn’t negotiate on their terms. Senator Rick Scott will continue to work to make sure Congress is helping the families and businesses that have been directly impacted by this crisis. The Democrats need to do the same,” Scott’s office continued.
Republicans and Democrats remain skeptical a coronavirus stimulus package will be passed in the near future.