President Donald Trump on Friday was noncommittal when asked about a legislative package making its way through Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of discussing details of the proposal, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) championed at a press conference earlier in the day, the President said Democrats were not “giving enough.”
At a Rose Garden ceremony announcing an emergency declaration for the pandemic, a reporter asked the President what the hold up was with the coronavirus package.
“Well, we just don’t think they are giving enough,” Trump responded. “We don’t think the Democrats are giving enough. We are negotiating. We thought we had something and all of the sudden they didn’t agree to certain things that they agreed to. So we could having so but we don’t think they are giving enough. They are not doing what’s right for the country.”
The senior Trump administration official negotiating with Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, said Friday morning that he and Pelosi were “very close” to an agreement, and that top administration and congressional Republicans were in-the-loop.
Trump has publicly hinted a few times that he wants payroll tax relief of some kind to goose the economy, which has plunged in response to the outbreak and the administration’s response to it.
But economists told TPM that the measure would be ineffective, and it’s not clear there would be sufficient congressional support to such a tax break to Trump’s desk.