A breakdown in talks between the White House and top Democrats in Congress over how to provide relief to tens of millions of Americans suffering in one of the worst economic downturns in US history entered a fifth day on Wednesday, with neither side ready to resume negotiations.
Pelosi and Schumer have put their latest compromise offer on the table, lowering their $3 trillion-plus package of relief to $2.5 trillion, while asking the White House to increase its $1 trillion proposal to at least $2 trillion.
"President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans say a tax cut for wealthy investors will help fight the COVID economic crisis, but think $600/week is too much for 30 million unemployed Americans", Schumer said on Twitter. "However, it is clear that the administration still does not grasp the magnitude of the problems that American families are facing".
The executive actions are limited in scope, and the provision on unemployment insurance is proving confusing to state officials. More than 20 million Americans risk evictions, and more are out of work.
While there is some common ground over $100 billion for schools and new funds for virus testing, Democrats also want other emergency funds that Trump rejects, including to shore up the U.S. Postal Service and election security ahead of the November election. The treasury secretary called the Democratic leaders on Wednesday, according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private call.
In his own statement, Mnuchin disputed Democrats' version of events but confirmed - effectively - that talks are dead.
Mnuchin said Pelosi's statement was "not an accurate reflection of our conversation".
He closed his statement by saying "The Democrats have no interest in negotiating".
"We have made clear to the Administration that we are willing to come down $1 trillion if they will come up $1 trillion", the Democratic leaders said in a joint statement.
He added: "The [Trump] Administration is willing to move forward with legislation that allows for substantial funds for schools, child care, food, vaccines, hospitals, [aid] for small businesses, rental assistance, broadband, airports, state and local government assistance, and liability protection for universities, schools, and businesses".
McConnell said on the Senate floor.
The two parties are not in the same ballpark on the overall cost of the bill, which Democrats have said can not be less than $2 trillion.
Following the interruption, the president made two historical gaffes in a few seconds, first mistaking the year the Spanish flu began as 1917, and later claiming the pandemic ended World War II, missing the date by 26 years.
Typically, both the Senate and House go on a recess during the month of August. The House is out of session. Asked if she thinks Congress can wait until September, when coronavirus relief measures could become part of deadline-driven talks on funding needed to avoid a government shutdown, Pelosi told reporters: "I hope not, no. People will die".