White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows doesn’t sound too supportive of President Trump’s optimism on another coronavirus stimulus bill.
Meadows was pessimistic about stimulus talks on Monday, saying “Senate Republicans have been very vocal in terms of their lack of support of a number that isn’t even close to what the President has already supported at the $1.8 trillion range.”
His view of the gridlocked negotiations are in line with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has cast doubt on the idea of more aid before the November elections. But Meadows sounds out of step with Trump, who flipped after spiking stimulus negotiations and has now been calling for a bill that’s “bigger” than what Republicans or Democrats are requesting.
Trump said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who passed a $3.4 trillion stimulus bill in May and a $2.2 trillion bill this month, is being too frugal now. “I want to do it at a bigger number than she wants,” he said. “That doesn’t mean all the Republicans agree with me, but I think they will in the end.”
Meadows, however, isn’t so sure. There are “some in the Senate” who might go for some type of deal before November, but not necessarily the 60 votes needed, he said. NBC News’ Sahil Kapur reports Meadows says “that’s up to McConnell.” If Meadows is leaving it in McConnell’s hands, it’s not likely Trump will get his wish for a major spending package, seeing as the Senate majority leader has said Trump is “talking about a much larger amount than I can sell to my members.”
Meadows “undercutting” his boss’s messaging on negotiations, says The New York Times‘ Alex Burns, is just one more reason the chief of staff is reportedly “seen as unlikely to hold onto his job past Election Day.” Summer Meza