Trump reverses course of relief bill, wants to spend more than Democrats and GOP
OAKLAND, Calif. - President Trump reversed course Friday after ending negotiations for a coronavirus relief bill just three days earlier.
In a complete turnaround by the President, he said he wants a deal on a relief bill and he said he wants it to be bigger than both the Republicans' and the Democrats' proposals.
President Trump spoke on conservative host Rush Limbaugh's radio show and he was asked about the status of the coronavirus relief bill.
"I would like to see a bigger stimulus package, frankly, than either the Democrats or the Republicans are offering," said President Trump.
The President reportedly sent Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin back to the table increasing the offer from $1.6 to $1.8 trillion dollars, edging closer but not meeting or surpassing the $2.2 trillion dollar relief bill House Democrats passed, but Senate Republicans rejected.
"The president has approved a revised package. He has approved a revised package. He would like to do a deal," said Larry Kudlow, the National Economic Council Director.
Speaker Pelosi's deputy chief of staff says the Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin spoke for more than 30 minutes Friday afternoon.
President Trump tweeted, "Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!"
"He was probably surprised from the backlash he received including from his own supporters, from republicans who are running for re-election who really want a deal to happen, and also from the stock market," said Eric Schickler, co-director, U.C. Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies
Professor Schickler says President Trump's ability to sway Senate Republicans could be waning.
"As his fortunes have fallen in the polls and the election gets nearer, I think his influence over other Republicans does start to fade away," said Schickler.
Many Americans struggling to survive say they could use another $1,200 stimulus check and help for small businesses.
"I think help should go to the people who need it most. Small businessmen particularly, individual workers who haven't seen a stimulus check in a while and really need it," said Ed Baker of Seattle, who added that the first stimulus check helped his daughter who works in the movie industry in Los Angeles and has been impacted by the pandemic shutdowns.
"It's been frustrating especially as me as a single mom struggling and I'm a student in school. Hopefully they come to some resolution," said Jolene McAtee of Martinez.
"My husband works in construction and he was placed out of work and without the stimulus we would not have been able to meet our mortgage," said Melinda Harris of Martinez.
Professor Schickler says even if the White House does make a deal, it's not clear it will pass.
"There's not really stomach for it among many Senate Republicans. So I think that we actually could see a deal between the Speaker and President that doesn't make it through the Senate," said Schickler.
Although it appears Secretary Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi have reached some agreement on stimulus checks to Americans and money for COVID19 testing, there's still a gap on unemployment funding and aid to state and local governments.