White House, lawmakers tangle over scope of new coronavirus legislation

Senate GOP moves to cut $600 weekly jobless benefit by two-thirds

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds sway because Republicans are so deeply divided over the prospect of big government spending that McConnell is left with a severely weakened hand.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly opposed including the funding in the final bill. He said the president should make the proposal a "red line" in negotiations.

"We ought to work on the evictions so that people don't get evicted, to work on the payments to the people and the rest of it", Trump said Wednesday at the White House before leaving on a trip to Texas.

Trump told reporters on Wednesday that Republicans who opposed the funds needed to "go back to school". Democrats have shown flickers of willingness to curb the federal aid but held firm in first-round talks.

McConnell is defending cuts to unemployment assistance saying Democrats "pretend it's controversial".

"The American people don't call that a controversy, they call that common sense", he said.

"Unlike under the CARES Act, where the additional $500 was limited to taxpayers with a dependent child under 17, the additional $500 will now be provided to taxpayers with dependents of any age", said a summary of the proposal released Monday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican.

With the virus death toll climbing and 4.2 million infections nationwide, both parties are eager for a deal.

"We will work on the payment for the people and the rest are far apart". Political pundits say it could take weeks before Senate Republicans and Democrats can agree on a compromise bill sometime in August.

The Democrats would provide $1,200 per household member - including dependents.

In calling for a new facility in downtown Washington, D.C., the White House is pushing to sidestep a plan to construct the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters in the suburbs that was proposed before Trump took office, The Washington Post reported.

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Schumer, together with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), said on Monday that the request for $1.75 billion to rebuilt the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters was a self-serving maneuver on the part of Trump.

Nevertheless, the Republican stimulus package would provide households with nearly identical benefits to the first round of checks, which were issued through the bi-partisan CARES Act beginning in April after its passage in March.

Democrats said the $200 suggestion is insufficient and would damage the economy, and scoffed at suggestions that people would rather stay home.

"Four months into this crisis, hotels are still staffed at less than half their pre-pandemic levels", the association said.

One of the main differences between the Republican and the Democrat's plans are the restrictions for a second stimulus check.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. scoffed that McConnell's bill was sure to win support - from Democrats.

Some Republicans said it was too expensive.

Asked about Republican complaints regarding Trump's insistence that the next coronavirus stimulus include $1.75 billion for an unrelated new Federal Bureau of Investigation building in downtown Washington, D.C., Trump said "Republicans should go back to school and learn". Trump's hotel is across the street from it on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Earlier, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany suggested that the president would not veto the entire relief package if funds for the building were excluded from the legislation. Democrats have dismissed that as too meager. Senate Republicans announced on Monday a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package hammered out with the White House, which would slash the current expanded unemployment benefit from the $600 per week in addition to state unemployment, which expires on Friday, to $200.

The new proposal allocated $1.75 billion for the new building. The older computer systems in many states that operates unemployment would need to be reprogrammed two times.

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