Trump wants urgent deal on coronavirus stimulus and thinks more jobless benefits are top priority, team says – The Sun

PRESIDENT Trump wants an urgent deal on the coronavirus stimulus package, and thinks more job benefits are a priority, his team said on Saturday.

The announcement came after three hours of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over a second stimulus deal.

The package would have seen up to $3,400 distributed to American families across the US but there has yet to be a decision.

Meadows added Trump had been "checking in" on proceedings.

"We're still a long ways apart, and I don't want to suggest a deal is imminent because it is not.

"It needs to be a 24/7 seven days a week commitment to get this done," said Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff on Saturday.

He called the day's negotiations productive, and that unemployment and eviction needed to be top priorities.

Meadows added Trump had been "checking in" on proceedings.

"We're still a long ways apart, and I don't want to suggest a deal is imminent because it is not.

"It's important to not set an unrealistic expectation that we are just a few items away."

Steve Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, added: "We are here and we want to get a deal.

"We will be speaking to both the president and the staff on a regular basis and we will be back here every day until we solve this.

"There's things we agree on, there's things we don't. We know we need bipartisan support and the president's support to pass anything."

On Friday, Trump said the second round of checks were being "held back by the Democrats".

The president tweeted on Friday: "The Democrats are holding back the $1,200 to $3,400 (family of four) checks that were ready to be sent out!"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the Republicans' $1trillion coronavirus relief plan on Monday, prompting Americans to ask when they'll receive their stimulus payments.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin four days in a row to discuss the act.

However, the Senate adjourned on Thursday afternoon and will not return until Monday.

Meadows said on Thursday: "I'm not very optimistic that we will have any kind of an agreement on a comprehensive bill in the near future."

If lawmakers make the decision before the August 7 recess – and President Donald Trump signs off on the act right away – the next checks could be sent in August.

A CNET model based on the first round of coronavirus relief payments in April, Americans can expect funds to start being released the week of August 24.

However, it could be further delayed if the Senate does not reach a deal by the August 7 recess, meaning negotiations would resume until September 8.

McConnell tweeted on Thursday evening: "Democrats are holding up urgent help for struggling people over completely unrelated liberal wish-list items, like massive tax cuts for rich people in blue states.

"Economists across the spectrum say it’s a terrible idea. This is how serious they are about these negotiations."

However, he told the Washington Post: "Hopefully we can come together behind some package we can agree on in the next few weeks."

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