White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters after meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday that the two sides are "nowhere close to a deal" on a coronavirus stimulus bill, and acknowledged that extra unemployment benefits will expire on Friday.
Why it matters: More than 32 million Americans are currently receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to the most recent Labor Department data. Democrats had hoped to extend the $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit passed in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, but the Senate GOP remains extremely divided.
The state of play: The White House has repeatedly floated the option of passing a "skinny" bill to extend unemployment benefits, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has rejected that option as unacceptable: "We have to have a comprehensive full bill," she said.
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters, "They're tied in a total knot because of the disunity in their caucus, their inability to gather votes."
- "We want to come back and keep talking to them but they don’t have anything to say," Schumer added.
The bottom line: Asked what would be necessary to achieve a breakthrough, Meadows replied, "I don't know that anything does."