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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer excommunicated Senate Republicans over the impasse to provide additional relief to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. (July 30)

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WASHINGTON – Discussions over another stimulus package turned into a test Friday as Democrats and Republicans blamed each other for failing to reach an agreement just hours before the $ 600 unemployment benefit for Americans officially ended.

In a dueling press conference, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows pledged Democrats to reject a short-term deal to extend heightened unemployment benefits for a week as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resisted Republicans and the Trump administration’s attempt to take a slice approach to helping Americans as cases of COVID-19 continue to grow nationwide.

“What we’re seeing is politics, as usual, from Democrats up on Capitol Hill,” Meadows said from the White House podium. “Democrats believe they have all the cards on their side and are willing to play those cards at the expense of those who hurt.”

Pelosi, California, has criticized Republicans for waiting months before trying another emergency package, noting a surge in coronavirus cases and high unemployment.

“They don’t understand the gravity of the situation,” she told Republicans. “We have no common values. That’s right.”

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She pointed out that a deal to extend unemployment benefits by one week would only make sense if a larger bill was almost drafted, noting how long the measure would take and the money would reach families. Pelosi also said the Senate, which remains divided over unemployment, is unlikely to have the vote to approve an extension of the $ 600 weekly benefit, boosting state benefits, which average about $ 370 a week.

Although the counterattacks signaled a deal, Meadows and Pelosi still said they planned to meet again to continue talks.

Friday’s press conferences cut off a week filled with talks on another stimulus bill, talks that nearly stopped as Republicans split on what should be included in the measure, and Democrats stand against a smaller bill to keep unemployment for a short period.

On Thursday, Meadows and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin met with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., for a lengthy meeting in which both sides tried to reach a deal before millions saw their compensation for unemployment go back significantly.

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Meadows said Democrats were given four separate offers throughout the day, but rejected them all.

“We are going in the wrong direction. They are going in the wrong direction because of guerrilla politics. It is very disappointing,” Meadows said. “It surprises me that when we talk about compassion and care for those who really need it, the interim solution is to ensure that unemployment, increased unemployment, continues to be rejected not once but repeatedly.”

House Democrats adopted their version of the next stimulus package in May, a $ 3 trillion measure that would extend the $ 600 increase in weekly unemployment benefits until at least January. The proposal was not taken by the state senate.

Democrats, including Pelosi, have taken advantage of accepting unemployment benefits as a separate measure, arguing that Republicans should come to the table for a bigger deal on a number of pressing political issues, including more funding for local and state governments. The Domestic Democrats bill includes not only expanding unemployment, but also another round of $ 1,200 incentive checks and increased funding for state and local governments.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have struggled to negotiate their demands, as the conference remains divided over what the next stimulus package should include. Some even doubted that another bill was needed. The divisions remained even after Republicans unveiled their own proposal this week, which includes $ 1,200 to boost funds, funds for schools and small businesses, and reduced unemployment benefits by $ 200 a week.

Many Republicans have spent weeks battling $ 600 in unemployment benefits, which are paid to Americans in addition to state claims. They argue that it should be changed or replaced with an incentive to resume work in the hope of starting the economy and closing businesses to lay off workers.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kicked off the process on Thursday so the Senate can take action to tackle unemployment, which means increased unemployment could be approved by the House early next week, although it is currently The chamber is not expected to approve such a proposal.

Although unemployment benefits remain controversial, both sides have come up with a number of proposals, including republican demands for companies to be protected from coronavirus lawsuits and democratic demands that state and local authorities receive more funds to offset the budget. its after the pandemic.

But both sides seemed largely opposed to a $ 377 million request from the administration to modernize the West Wing, along with more than $ 1 billion to preserve the new FBI headquarters in Washington, DC

On Friday, White House spokeswoman Kaylee McEnnany defended the demands. Although he pointed out that previous coronavirus relief bills had “many other things” that were not related to the pandemic, Makinai insisted that FBI funding “is not a red line for us.”

“It was part of the original bill, but it’s certainly not a red line priority,” she said.

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