“If you were the person deciding what amount to pay today, I wouldn’t trust us,” said Senator Kevin Kramer, a Republican from North Dakota, of the guerrilla struggle that engulfed the hill on Thursday.
As bilateral talks continue in the evening between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, the reality comes in two weeks’ session, lawmakers are no closer to an agreement.
Instead, the deeply divided Senate voted Thursday on party decisions to pass a legislative mechanism that could be used in the future to pass an increase in unemployment benefits or a broader bill if the Senate eventually reaches an agreement. Discussion signals
In a remark on the Senate floor earlier Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat leader Chuck Schumer took the other side̵7;s turns for inaction ahead of time, heightening the rhetorical heat to talks that are as cold as ice all day.
“It’s a partnership,” McConnell said sarcastically of Sumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a leading Democratic negotiator. “The speaker of the chamber is moving the gate, while the leader of the Democrats is hiding football.”
Sumer soon responded to the Senate floor with his broad side.
“Because Senate Republicans couldn’t get together, two weeks now went down the drain, and three months before that, because Republicans approve of the perverted ideology that the federal government shouldn’t help people even in a national emergency,” Schumer said. .
Republicans and Democrats both pushed the Senate floor to pass individual proposals – Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican of Wisconsin, pushed for an increase in the federal unemployment rate of $ 200 or 66% of past earnings, and Sumer opposed the proposal passed by the House of Commons in May.
These were procedural efforts that each party knew would not succeed – and they did.
Senator John Thun, the second Republican, said they would try again and force them to vote for Johnson’s proposal next week. Republicans hope to force them to vote for Johnson’s order – and other proposals that have not been made public — they may drop some ratings and submit to Democrats seeking a way out, even if top Democratic leaders seek a broader deal.
“We need to move things,” Thun said. “Our guys want to vote, they want to prove that they are moving the ball down the field, and the Democrats want to keep blocking. It exposes this. And hopefully it will make them take what they are actually sitting down and working on. “
Unsuccessful efforts on the floor and scathing remarks were only the latest example of negotiations that did not go as far off the rails as they had ever begun. After days of delay, Senate Republicans made their own series of proposals on Monday, only to have many or all of them in the conference. Also in the boat: President Donald Trump, who said he had problems with parts of the WFD plan, but added that it was “semi-relevant” given that Democrats needed to agree to any final agreement.
Democrats listened intently to the $ 3 million proposal adopted by the House in May, holding a firm proposal to increase federal unemployment benefits to $ 600 – despite strong objections from the EP – as well as nearly $ 1 trillion. and terrain.
“It’s slow,” Thun told CNN. “They’re dug up. Now I think they just want questions.”
Pelosi and Sumer flatly rejected the idea of a short-term narrow package that sailed the White House, making it clear that a comprehensive package is the only way forward on their side.
“While the nation waits, desperately for all-round help, they leave everything else,” Sumer said.
The White House negotiating team, which included Mnuchin and Luke, became increasingly pessimistic after three days of closed-door meetings with their fellow Democrats.
Meadows, when asked by CNN if he could unlock the current stalemate, said unequivocally, “I don’t know what he’s doing.”
Talks between Luke, Mnuchin, Pelosi and Sumer ended on Thursday night, and the two sides remained far apart by agreement.
Mnuchin told reporters after the meeting that the negotiators had “made progress” on certain issues but remained divided over others. He said the administration would continue talks with Democrats “for as long as it takes” to reach an agreement.
Meadows, meanwhile, said democratic leaders did not receive their “warm” proposals.
Pelosi and Sumer confirmed this description, telling reporters that the administration does not understand the scale of action required in the next stimulus bill, or the seriousness of the situation.
“Right now, they don’t understand how serious the problem is,” Sumer said. “Did we have a good discussion? Yes. Will we continue to discuss? Yes. Do we want to continue to negotiate? Absolutely. But it should solve the seriousness of the problem.”
Congress leaders on both sides continue to say the deal is necessary, and economic figures released Thursday reinforced the issue.
The US economy contracted at a record 32.9% per annum last quarter, and weekly unemployment claims rose to 1.43 million amid signs of a slowdown in recovery.
McConnell called on the top Republicans and Democrats on each committee to begin negotiations, a structure used in negotiations on the first major economic aid package.
“Republicans have put forward a framework that could do a huge amount of good for a huge number of American families,” McConnell said. “If Democrats ever come to the table, we will be able to overcome our differences and pass the law.”
Sumer, who punished McConnell for staying out of bipartisan personal talks until then, urged Republicans to understand the point.
“We just need our Republican counterparts to come together, roll up our sleeves, understand the seriousness and depth and breadth of this problem, and negotiate with us seriously,” the New York Democrat said.
This story was updated with additional developments on Thursday.
Hailey Byrd, Ted Barrett and Manu Raju of CNN contributed to this report.