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With Jobless Aid Expired, Trump Sidelines Himself in Stimulus Talks

  • August 04, 2020

On Monday, Ms. Pelosi floated a possible compromise to extend the benefits, saying that Democrats might be open to tying the weekly payments, which Republicans are pressing to cut substantially, to the unemployment rate, allowing the amount to fall in tandem with the jobless rate.

“That’s something to talk about,” Ms. Pelosi said on CNN. “Right now, today, we have an emergency. A building is on fire, and they are deciding how much water they want to have in the bucket.”

Privately, she warned House Democrats during an afternoon conference call that while she had hoped to reach a deal with the White House this week, she was no longer sure that was possible, according to two people on the call who described it on the condition of anonymity.

Some lawmakers saw the glimmers of a possible bargain, although they warned the process of striking it would not be pretty.

“This is just the painful period between people finally deciding, ‘OK, we want a deal,’ and what that deal ultimately looks like,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, told reporters.

At the same moment that Mr. Trump was blasting her, Ms. Pelosi met on Capitol Hill with Mr. Schumer; Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff; and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, in search of a compromise. It was the sixth such in-person meeting in eight days, and followed a rare Saturday session with the four negotiators.

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