President Donald Trump is trying to push through a deal on the next stimulus package as negotiators remain deadlocked. Both parties turn their attention to their respective national conventions this week, so it looks unlikely that a deal on a coronavirus relief package will be reached.
However, the Trump administration is showing some signs of being willing to strike a deal with Democrats. The president said he would sign a bill that contains funding for the U.S. Postal Service, a key sticking point with Democrats.
Trump on the next coronavirus stimulus package
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN over the weekend that Democrats should return to Washington if they are upset about Trump’s threat to hold back funding for the postal service in the stimulus package. The Trump administration threatened to link the money to its opposition to universal mail-in voting.
Meadows called on Democrats to return so they could send a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks, extend the Paycheck Protection Program and include funding for the post office. He said they would pass such a bill tomorrow and that the president would sign it.
The House of Representatives is currently on its August recess, but a senior House Democrat told Fox News that it’s a matter of “when, not if” they will return within the next week or two. The focus will be on funding for the postal service and possibly a coronavirus relief package.
Controversy over voter fraud
CNN’s Jake Tapper told Meadows that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. However, Meadows responded that there is no evidence that there isn’t any widespread voter fraud either. He added that that’s “the definition of fraud.”
Tapper also said Americans should be wary of mail-in voting in November because of possible voter fraud rather than a strain on the postal service, which processes and delivers over 181 million pieces of first-class mail daily. He added that even if every voter in the U.S. voted by mail, that’s only a 1.5% increase in pieces of mail.
Meadows explained that Trump opposes universal mail-in ballots, which involves sending ballots to registered voters, including those who didn’t request a ballot. He said that would not be accurate because “people move, people die.” He said the results would not be accurate and instead would be a “disaster.”
According to Fox News, that disaster could mean not knowing the results of the election for months. As a result, the Democrat-led house could choose the next president if neither Biden nor Trump wins a majority in the electoral college.
What Trump would sign for the next stimulus package
Fox News’ John Roberts asked Trump on Friday if he would be willing to include $25 billion for the postal service in the next coronavirus stimulus package. He said if Democrats give them what they want, they would be willing to do that, adding that “it’s not what I want, it’s what the American people want.”
We already know that Democrats and Republicans agree on sending a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks, so it seems like that could be included. It seems likely that some funding for state and local governments could be included, although it’s unclear whether Democrats would be willing to accept less than what they want in order to get a coronavirus relief package passed.
Unemployment is another point of controversy between both sides. Democrats want to extend the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits. However, Republicans want to reduce the amount, so people don’t keep getting paid more on unemployment than they did on the job.
If Democrats are willing to compromise on unemployment so something can be passed, then a deal on the next coronavirus relief package could be forthcoming. However, negotiators from both sides refused to even meet last week to resume talks.
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