Top Trump administration officials are calling on lawmakers to pass legislation to redirect unused funding from a small-business lifeline, the latest salvo in a week of twists and turns in talks between the White House and congressional leaders on a new round of coronavirus stimulus.
“Now is the time for us to come together and immediately vote on a bill to allow us to spend the unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while we continue to work toward a comprehensive package,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote in a letter on Sunday to members of the House and Senate. “The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people.”
The letter follows a bevy of mixed signals from the administration over the past week — which included President Donald Trump abruptly breaking off stimulus talks, then reversing course and insisting on a variety of relief measures.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday rejected the latest $1.8 trillion stimulus offer from Mnuchin. Many Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have been wary of greenlighting yet another hefty relief package.
Meadows and Mnuchin reserved their criticism for the Democratic-led House for passing two massive relief bills largely along party lines “instead of compromising with us on bipartisan legislation like we have done in the past.”
“We will continue to try to work with Speaker Pelosi and Senator [Chuck] Schumer,” the pair wrote. “It is not just about the top-line number but also about legislation that can be passed by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Trump to