U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the White House must agree to spend more money on coronavirus aid during a phone call slated for Thursday afternoon, if talks aimed at a deal on new legislation are to move forward.
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WASHINGTON: U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the White House must agree to spend more money on coronavirus aid during a phone call slated for Thursday afternoon, if talks aimed at a deal on new legislation are to move forward.
Pelosi was to talk about coronavirus relief with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows by phone at 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT), the first chance in weeks to revive stalled COVID-19 aid negotiations.
But Congress's top Democrat told reporters it will be a short conversation unless Meadows says the Trump administration is willing to agree to a higher aid figure than the US$1 trillion initially proposed by the White House and Senate Republicans.
"Are you willing to meet in the middle? If so, we can have a conversation. If not, I've returned your call," Pelosi said at a news conference.
"We're not budging. Understand this. They have to move," she added. "They're just going to have to come up with more money."
Meadows and Pelosi are two of the four negotiators who were involved in talks on legislation to help Americans and businesses suffering from a coronavirus pandemic that has now killed nearly 180,000 people. The others are Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
The talks broke down on Aug. 7, with the sides far apart on major issues including the size of unemployment benefits for tens of millions of people made jobless by the pandemic, aid for state and local governments and funding for schools and food support programs.
The Democratic-controlled House in May passed a US$3 trillion coronavirus relief bill but Pelosi offered to reRead More – Source