Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday said they’d recommend President Donald Trump take executive action on some stimulus provisions amid stalled talks with Capitol Hill Democrats.
"Unfortunately we did not make any progress today,” Mnuchin told reporters, saying Trump was likely to issue executive orders to prevent home evictions and on student loan debt — and possibly some form of unemployment aid.
Meadows said the executive orders were “not a perfect answer.”
“We’ll be the first ones to say that,” he said. “But it is all that we can do, and all the president can do within the confines of his executive power.”
Mnuchin added the orders would take a “little bit of time” to finalize and process, but that the administration would work on it as soon as possible.
Trump tweeted about his intention to do just that on Thursday, saying, “I’ve notified my staff to continue working on an Executive Order with respect to Payroll Tax Cut, Eviction Protections, Unemployment Extensions, and Student Loan Repayment Options.”
Friday's session between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Mnuchin and Meadows aimed to breath new life into negotiations following a combative meeting Thursday that cast doubt on the ability of the Trump administration and Democrats to come together on a fifth COVID-19 response bill.
A breakdown would put at risk more than $100 billion to help schools reopen, a fresh round of $1,200 direct payments to most people and hundreds of billions of dollars for state and local governments to help them avoid furloughing workers and cutting services as tax revenues shrivel.
Where the sides got stuck, Mnuchin said Friday, was on the renewal of a $600 per-week pandemic jobless boost and huge demands by Democrats for aid to state and local governments.
“There’s a lot of areas of compromise," he said after the meeting. "I think if we can reach an agreement on state and local and unemployment, we will reach an overall deal. And if we can’t we can’t.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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