White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Sunday blamed the impasse on a new coronavirus relief bill on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying the Trump administration‘s offer of $1.3 trillion deserves the Democrats’ serious attention.
“Listen, we’re not going to negotiate here because the speaker’s been very clear,” Meadows told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” characterizing Pelosi as inflexible. ‘When she said $2.2 trillion, she said, ‘Don't do anything at all.’ "
President Donald Trump indicated Friday that he’s willing to sign a $1.3 trillion relief bill, a $300 billion increase from the White House and Senate Republicans’ original $1 trillion offer.
Pelosi responded to the offer in a statement, insisting that Republicans’ new proposal still “continues to disregard the needs” of Americans.
Earlier this month, Pelosi and congressional Democrats offered to come down to $2.2 trillion after the Democrat-controlled House passed the nearly $3.5 trillion HEROES Act in May. The White House has rejected that, and Meadows said Pelosi needs to be clearer about what is in the legislation.
Meadows said Republicans’ new offer could pass the Senate if Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed to the proposal.
“As you know, anything in the Senate requires both Democrats and Republicans,” Meadows said. “But Speaker Pelosi, if she worked with Chuck Schumer, I can tell you all of those things that I just mentioned are available for the American people.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly characterized Mark Meadows’ position on negotiations.