1:42:10 PM PDT - Sunday, September 27th, 2020

White House Telegraphs Willingness to Increase Stimulus Offer  

By Editor - Wed Sep 16, 2:26 pm

(Bloomberg) — The White House strongly signaled Wednesday that it is willing to increase its pandemic-relief offer in talks with Democrats and that Senate Republicans should go along in order to seal a stimulus deal in the next week to 10 days.Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said President Donald Trump is open to the compromise $1.5 trillion stimulus proposal from a bipartisan group of House lawmakers that was an effort to break a months-long deadlock over bolstering the U.S. economy amid the pandemic.The long-shot plan from a 50-member group of House Democrats and Republicans has a bigger total spending figure than the administration previously endorsed. It’s also higher than what Senate GOP leaders say would be acceptable to Republicans.Meadows said on CNBC that the amount is not a “show-stopper.” But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called it insufficient, while Senator John Thune, the chamber’s second-ranking Republican, said a $1.5 trillion stimulus would cause “a lot of heartburn” for GOP lawmakers.Trump on Twitter urged Republican lawmakers to accept a higher level of spending. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said later at a briefing that the higher level was relative to a slimmed-down Republican Senate bill blocked by Democrats last week.After initially proposing a $1 trillion stimulus at the end of July, Senate Republicans attempted to advance a bill providing $650 billion in economic aid, without the direct payments to individuals the president — and Democrats — want.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to comment when asked about Trump’s call for Republicans to go higher. Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer released a statement saying they were “encouraged” by Trump’s endorsement of higher spending. “We look forward to hearing from the president’s negotiators that they will finally meet us halfway,” they said.Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell weighed in, telling reporters that while the recovery has been faster than expected in the past 60 days, “there’s certainly a risk” that as the months pass without additional funding and if the unemployed don’t get jobs, “that will start to show up in economic activity.”“My sense is that more fiscal support is likely to be needed,” Powell said at a press conference. He said about 11 million people are still out of work amid the pandemic, small businesses are struggling and state and local governments have seen revenues drop.Stimulus negotiations have been handled by Pelosi, Schumer, Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.The Problem Solvers Caucus plan was developed over six weeks with the knowledge of the White House and leadership from both parties. But the track record of bipartisan groupings of moderates in either the House or Senate in brokering major deals has been poor in recent years.The proposal offered compromises on the thorniest issues in the stalled talks

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White House Telegraphs Willingness to Increase Stimulus Offer

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