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Reuters August 2, 2020 0 Comments

The top Democrats in Congress are not close to a deal with the White House to pump more money into the U.S. economy to ease the coronavirus’ heavy toll, both sides said on Saturday, after an essential lifeline for millions of unemployed Americans expired.

“This was the longest meeting we had and it was more productive than the other meetings,” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

“There are many issues that are still very much outstanding.”

Schumer made the remarks after he and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi concluded a three-hour meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at the Capitol on Saturday.

Mnuchin told reporters the talks were constructive but had reached an “impasse” over whether to come to a short-term agreement or a more comprehensive deal.

The officials will meet again on Monday, after their staff meet on Sunday, Schumer said.

Congress for the past several months has been unable to reach an accord for a next round of economic relief from a pandemic that has killed more than 150,000 Americans and triggered the sharpest economic collapse since the Great Depression.

In a meeting late Thursday between top White House officials and congressional Democratic leaders, negotiations focused on an extension of the $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits that Americans who lost jobs due to the pandemic have been receiving in addition to state jobless payments.

Pelosi said on Friday that she rejected an offer by Republican President Donald Trump’s administration to continue the $600 payments for one more week.

Congressional Democrats want to see the weekly payments extended into next year as part of a broader package.

Senate Republicans have said the $600 payments are an incentive to stay home rather than return to work. Their proposal would provide a much-reduced weekly payment of $200 until states create a system to provide a 70% wage replacement for laid-off workers.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Saturday slammed Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for letting the Senate go home for the weekend without a deal to extend the unemployment benefits or protect renters facing eviction.

“Because Donald Trump is abdicating his responsibility to lead us out of the pandemic crisis and the economic crisis, we now face a potential housing crisis across the country,” Biden said in a statement.

Pelosi told House Democrats in a letter late on Saturday that “all parties must understand the gravity of the situation in order to reach an agreement that protects Americans’ lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy.”

(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by Richard Cowan, David Shepardson, Susan Heavey and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Ross Colvin and Daniel Wallis)

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Tags: chuck schumer coronavirus outbreak donald trump nancy pelosi steven mnuchin

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A Real WINNER: Trump Congratulates and Praises QAnon Candidate for Georgia Primary Win

President Donald Trump congratulated a QAnon-supporting Republican congressional candidate from Georgia on Wednesday after she won her primary.

Marjorie Taylor Greene — who is now the Republican candidate for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District — has reportedly called “Q,” the alleged figure of the conspiracy theory, a “patriot,” and said, “He is someone that very much loves his country, and he’s on the same page as us, and he is very pro-Trump.”

“Congratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia against a very tough and smart opponent,” tweeted Trump on Wednesday morning. “Marjorie is strong on everything and never gives up – a real WINNER!”

Congratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia against a very tough and smart opponent. Marjorie is strong on everything and never gives up – a real WINNER!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2020

As Mediaite has explained in previous coverage, QAnon is “a theory that alleges the president is secretly working with the military to unfurl a multinational cabal of elite, ritualistic pedophiles.”

Wild claims from QAnon supporters have become even more bizarre over the years, and have included allegations of sex trafficking, ritual sacrifice, and occultism in the government.

Greene has faced opposition from prominent figures in the Republican Party, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who backed Greene’s primary opponent and condemned “disgusting” comments she had made previously.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has also called out Greene’s “appalling” comments, which have included claims that African-Americans “are held slaves to the Democratic Party.”

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