U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said talks with the White House on a new coronavirus aid bill were not yet on a path toward reaching a deal on Friday (July 31), hours before the expiration of a federal unemployment benefit that has been an essential lifeline for millions of Americans.
Asked why she rejected a proposal from Republican President Donald Trump’s administration for a one-week extension of the $600 enhanced weekly jobless payment, Pelosi told reporters that such a move would occur “if you are on a path” toward a deal.
“We’re not,” the Democrat told a news conference.
However, negotiations were to continue on Friday between White House officials and congressional Democrats.
White House officials took their own hard partisan line, accusing Democrats of refusing Trump’s proposals to extend the jobless benefit and a moratorium on evictions that expired last week.
Lawmakers and the White House are at odds over efforts to further shore up the economy and manage the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has left tens of millions of Americans out of work and killed at least 152,384 people in the United States.
Pelosi went on to call out Republican leaders as not being up to the task.
“Clearly, they and perhaps the White House, do not understand the gravity of the situation,” she said.
(Production by: Dan Fastenberg)