Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.
Driving the news, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures for millions of Americans at the end of July is already affecting consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.
The state of play: The primary sticking point in stimulus talks remains Democrats' demands for extra funding for state and local governments, which Republicans have dismissed as a "bailout" for years of poorly-run state budgets.
What they're saying: "We told them we'll go down a trillion if you go up a trillion for the children. Again, let's meet in the middle. We've said all of that," Pelosi told MSNBC.
- "It's no use sitting in a room and let them tell us that states should go bankrupt. The fiscal soundness of our states is essential to the strength of our economy," she added.
- "And it doesn't help when people say, 'How come you can't resolve your differences?' It's a chasm. Because they do not share our values, they don't believe in science, they don't believe in governance."
The other side: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declined to say on Wednesday whether a stimulus deal could be reached.
- "I can’t speculate," he told Fox Business. "If the Democrats are willing to be reasonable, there’s a compromise. If the Democrats are focused on politics and don’t want to do anything that’s going to succeed for the president, there won’t be a deal."
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)tore into Democrats on the Senate floor Wednesday for the second time this week, accusing them of "treating this crisis like an ordinary political game."
- "The American people are not done fighting this virus. And Republicans are not done crafting policies to help them. But the difference between now and March is that Democrats seem to be done being reasonable."