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Stimulus negotiations: Trump signs off on a $1.8 trillion counter offer to Pelosi

President Donald Trump has signed off on a roughly $1.8 trillion stimulus offer to be presented to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to two people with k...

Posted: Oct 9, 2020 2:01 PM
Updated: Oct 9, 2020 3:15 PM

President Donald Trump has signed off on a roughly $1.8 trillion stimulus offer to be presented to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to two people with knowledge of the decision, marking the highest topline dollar figure the administration has put on the table to this point.

The direct involvement of Trump himself and his willingness to put down an offer far above the preferences of congressional Republicans adds a dynamic new element to long-stalled negotiations. Trump, to this point, mostly relied on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to handle the details of the talks with Pelosi.

The $1.8 trillion figure is up from a $1.6 trillion offer from earlier this week, though it remains below the $2.2 trillion in the bill passed last week by House Democrats -- and Pelosi has been unwilling to go below $2 trillion in negotiations up to this point, people familiar with the matter say.

The details in the offer remain as important, if not more so, than the topline dollar figure. The specifics are not currently known, though Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, said she and Mnuchin had spoken on the phone Friday afternoon and the secretary had presented 'a proposal that attempted to address some of the concerns Democrats have.'

'Of special concern, is the absence of an agreement on a strategic plan to crush the virus,' Hammill wrote in a tweet. 'For this and other provisions, we are still awaiting language from the Administration as negotiations on the overall funding amount continue.'

The movement from the Trump administration underscores the colossal stakes at play regarding relief in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. The coronavirus, which is still surging in parts of the country, has killed more than 213,000 people in the US, and shutdowns in response to Covid have had broad economic consequences.

A wide-ranging package would attempt to address the twin economic and public health crises that continue to play out -- and top economic officials including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell have warned inaction could have dire consequences.

But whether the new White House offer will lead to a breakthrough in talks that for months have remained stuck in a ditch is unclear.

Pelosi has said repeatedly that the actual legislative language -- and where that language directs the funds -- has become the most critical aspect of any agreement, pushing particularly for funding for states and localities that have significant budget shortfalls, a key sticking point for the Trump administration.

And the President appeared to undermine his own proposal Friday afternoon when he said that he would like to see a bigger stimulus than what is currently being put forth by either Democrats or his administration.

'I would like to see a bigger stimulus package, frankly, than either the Democrats or Republicans are offering,' Trump said while being interviewed on 'The Rush Limbaugh Show.' The President continued that he's 'going in the exact opposite now,' adding, 'Maybe it helps or maybe it hurts negotiations.'

Trump's willingness to 'go big,' as he also framed it on Twitter on Friday, runs risks inside his own party. Republicans in both chambers have voiced concern over any price tag above $1 trillion. Many are opposed to any new aid at all.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cast doubt earlier Friday on the possibility that any deal could get passed ahead of Election Day.

'The situation is kinda murky, and I think the murkiness is a result of the proximity to the election,' McConnell told reporters at an event in Kentucky. 'And everybody trying to elbow for political advantage. I'd like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April but I think that's unlikely in the next three weeks.'

This story has been updated with additional developments Friday.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
Waseca139211
Pine13658
Meeker12879
Roseau11964
Hubbard114925
Martin113320
Wabasha10561
Redwood94619
Chippewa8877
Cottonwood8664
Renville86527
Dodge8600
Watonwan8544
Wadena8016
Sibley7934
Rock7779
Aitkin76730
Pipestone72518
Fillmore6990
Houston6984
Yellow Medicine64812
Pennington6478
Kanabec61913
Murray5873
Swift5838
Faribault5612
Pope5391
Clearwater5248
Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
Lake4226
Koochiching3926
Wilkin3895
Lac qui Parle3773
Lincoln3591
Norman3497
Big Stone3182
Mahnomen2964
Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
Winneshiek97613
Iowa95812
Winnebago93023
Hancock8677
Grundy86311
Louisa86216
Sac8608
Chickasaw8574
Cherokee8484
Allamakee81811
Cass81623
Mitchell7984
Appanoose79312
Humboldt7715
Union7706
Shelby76511
Emmet76424
Guthrie75415
Franklin73921
Jefferson7142
Madison6864
Unassigned6690
Palo Alto6554
Keokuk5997
Howard5599
Pocahontas5584
Greene5250
Osceola5241
Ida48913
Clarke4874
Davis4709
Taylor4653
Montgomery46311
Monroe44412
Adair4418
Monona4352
Worth3630
Fremont3583
Van Buren3585
Lucas3256
Decatur3170
Wayne3007
Audubon2962
Ringgold2112
Adams1702
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