WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is willing to sign a $1.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill, a top Trump aide said on Friday, marking a $300 billion increase from an initial $1 trillion offer from the White House and Senate Republicans.
Three weeks to the day after talks on Capitol Hill broke down without a deal on legislation to help Americans suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Trump was “right now willing to sign something at $1.3 trillion.”
But the new White House amount is still $900 billion less than the $2.2 trillion that House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has demanded that the Trump administration accept before negotiations can resume.
The $1.3 trillion has been offered in private, Meadows said. Negotiations have involved Pelosi, Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
Meadows and Pelosi spoke by phone for 25 minutes on Thursday without a breakthrough, and afterward the Democrat said the conversation showed that the White House “continues to disregard the needs of the American people.”
Pelosi told reporters that Democrats could not go lower than $2.2 trillion, saying the figure would allow both sides to “meet in the middle.”
Reporting by Lisa Lambert and David Morgan; editing by Jonathan Oatis
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