The White House won’t be pushing for any coronavirus relief conversations and Congressional leaders will have to handle any negotiations ahead of the holiday season, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters Wednesday.
President Donald Trump’s administration made several attempts to pass coronavirus relief ahead of Election Day, but the talks stalled and have seen little chance of resurrections in the weeks since. Meadows now says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have to handle any new negotiations “if they happen.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says it’s up to McConnell and Pelosi — not the White House — to hash out any new virus aid package.
“Those discussions, if they happen, will be dictated by the House and Senate,” Meadows told reporters, per @elwasson.
— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) November 18, 2020
Meadows made the reported comment shortly after a Wednesday meeting with McConnell on Capitol Hill.
Both McConnell and Pelosi say they want coronavirus relief, but each blames the other for holding up progress. Pelosi and the Democrats have proposed a multi-trillion dollar package that McConnell and Republicans say is too expensive. Republicans have in turn suggested a $500,000 billion package.
McConnell has accused President-Elect Joe Biden of pursuing a “$2.5 trillion or nothing” policy, which he says is far too high.
Trump has let COVID relief fall to Congress as he and his campaign ramp up their challenges to the election results in states across the country. Trump has so far lead unsuccessful legal challenges in Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and Pennsylvania. His campaign also filed for a partial recount in Wisconsin on Wednesday. (RELATED: Here’s Where The Head Of Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board Stands On Masks)
News outlets called the election for President-elect Joe Biden as it became clear that Trump could not overturn Biden’s lead even if his remaining legal challenges succeeded, which they have not.