President Donald Trump’s executive orders on pandemic relief may have forced the Democrats back to the negotiating table on crafting a compromise measure.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that Trump’s orders were an “illusion” and that real relief for distressed Americans was needed. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnchuin, who has been heading up negotiations for Republicans, also suggested that talks should continue.
In short, both sides appear to be giving a little in order to get the talks restarted.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, meanwhile, left the door open to resuming negotiations, saying he would consider any new proposal from Democrats and encouraged a compromise bill on areas of agreement such as food assistance.
Both sides appeared willing to consider a narrower deal that would extend aid until the end of the year and then revisit the need for more federal assistance in January, after November’s election.
“Let’s pass legislation on things that we agree on,” Mnuchin told Fox News in an interview.
“We don’t have to get everything done at once,” he added. “What we should do is get things done for the American public now, come back for another bill afterwards.”
Pelosi told Fox News that Democrats would also be open to a shorter-term deal.
“Right now, we need to come to agreement,” she said, adding that Democrats could shorten the length of time aid is provided in order to bring the bill’s costs down closer to the Trump administration’s proposal.
“We could talk about how long our provisions would be in effect, so we can take things down — instead of the end of September of next year, a shorter period of time — and we’ll revisit all next year anyway,” Pelosi told Fox News.
Democrats have gone from demanding a long term deal on everything, including unemployment benefits, food assistance, aid to state and local governments, and eviction relief to now wanting a shorter-term deal on a limited number of items.
What changed? Trump’s executive orders put the Democrats, as PJ Media editor Tyler O’Neil points out, in the unenviable position of having to oppose pandemic relief in Trump’s orders.
Trump has almost certainly exceeded his authority with these orders, and Democrats plan to challenge them in court. Yet by signing these orders, the president called their bluff. Democrats refused to work with him to secure coronavirus relief, planning to make Trump look heartless. In response, the president called their bluff, and now Democrats have to fight against the relief Americans need.
I would say that if the two sides get back together, a deal will be done rather quickly. Democrats will bank on getting control of all three branches of government after the election when they’ll be able to pass everything they want and Republicans will be hard-pressed to stop them. So the deal will be relatively short, maybe through the end of the year.
Democrats were confident Trump and the Republicans would cave on every major issue the Democrats were insisting on. Instead, Trump shut down the negotiations and with a stroke of his pen, is bringing them humbled back to the table.