President Donald Trump complained Thursday that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has thus far failed to strike a deal on coronavirus relief legislation amid his ongoing negotiations with House Democrats.
In an interview on Fox Business, Trump said he had authorized Mnuchin to offer more than $1.8 trillion in federal spending to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to help shore up the pandemic-battered U.S. economy.
“I’ve told him,” Trump said. “So far, he hasn’t come home with the bacon.”
The president’s criticism of his own Treasury secretary — who, along with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is representing the administration in relief talks — came after Mnuchin attacked Pelosi’s “all-or-nothing” approach to negotiations earlier Thursday morning.
“She is holding out for an all-or-nothing. Whether you want to call that politics or something else, it’s unfortunate, but we’re going to keep trying,” Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC.
Trump’s recent appeals for congressional Republicans to go “big” on a new stimulus package have set up a conflict with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who prefers more piecemeal coronavirus relief.
McConnell has previewed plans to bring to the Senate floor his own $500 billion measure that he said will provide money for the Paycheck Protection Program, hospitals and schools.
On the opposite side of the Capitol, Pelosi has continued to push for a package that allocates no less than $2 trillion in relief money, despite increasing pressure from some within her caucus to strike a deal with the White House.
Trump objected to such an expensive proposal on Thursday, accusing Pelosi of “asking for all sorts of goodies.”
“She wants to bail out badly-run Democrat states and cities,” he said. “She wants money for things that you would never — you just couldn’t, just your pride couldn’t let it happen. It should be Covid-related.”
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