Covid talks going nowhere as deadline nears, Negotiators met for more than three hours but remain far apart on an agreement


“Right now, I would say the president only has two choices,” Schumer said. “The first is to negotiate with Democrats; he knows Republicans can’t pass a bill, you probably can’t even get a majority of Republican senators to vote for any bill, let alone the House.”

Schumer added: “The second choice is to try these executive orders, which will leave most people out, will not cover the broad expanse of what’s needed, will be litigated in court and be awkward and difficult to implement.”

But Mnuchin and Meadows said it is the Democrats, not the White House or Republicans, who were being unreasonable and refusing any efforts to compromise. The two Trump administration officials have offered to resume federal unemployment benefits at $400 per week for four months, as well as providing $200 billion to state and local governments, among other concessions offered in recent days, sources familiar with the talks said. Democrats have rejected the proposals, saying they don’t go far enough in the address the fallout from coronavirus pandemic.

“Let me characterize it this way — the compromises that Secretary Mnuchin and I put forth on behalf of the president are significantly greater than the compromises that we saw from the other side of the negotiating table,” Meadows said.

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