President donald trump has raised his offer for a new fiscal stimulus package to $1.8tn in a bid to strike a final compromise with congressional democrats on relief for the us economy before the november election.
The revised bid is higher than the $1.6tn previously proposed by the white house but remains lower than the $2.2tn in new spending proposed by democrats in the house of representatives, so it may not be sufficient to strike a deal.
Nancy pelosi, the democratic house speaker, and steven mnuchin, treasury secretary in the trump administration, have been holding on-and-off negotiations for days on a possible compromise, so far in vain.
I would like to see a bigger stimulus package frankly than either the democrats or the republicans are offering, mr trump said on rush limbaughs radio show on friday. im going the exact opposite now. id like to see the money going to people.
The president okayed a $1.8tn offer on friday, according to a senior administration official, capping a week of many twists and turns. mr trump had initially called for a deal via twitter from his hospital suite in maryland last saturday, before on tuesday abruptly calling off the negotiations. in the face of a significant backlash, he then reversed course and sought to draw democrats back into a conversation, first on a series of smaller aid packages, and most recently on a big deal.
The new, higher figure could face resistance from lawmakers in the republican-held senate, who have consistently resisted large new spending and have only been willing to consider a package below $1tn.
This could complicate passage before the november 3 election, also considering the senate is aiming to confirm mr trumps new supreme court nominee, amy coney barrett, in the coming weeks as well.
According to the washington post, mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader, told an audience in kentucky on friday that a stimulus bill was unlikely in the next three weeks.
Democrats have also so far resisted mr trumps overtures. they are pushing for more spending on unemployment benefits and child care and, in a particular bone of contention with republicans, aid for cash-strapped state and local governments.
Economists, including federal reserve officials, have warned that in the absence of a deal, the us could be facing a longer and more painful recovery from the pandemic.
There are already signs of slowing job creation and some big employers have announced or implemented mass lay-offs in recent weeks, pointing to an even more troubled labour market in the months ahead if no support is forthcoming.