backlash

Trump pivots again on stimulus talks after bipartisan backlash

The administration’s latest request is unlikely to advance in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has rejected stand-alone legislation in favor of a comprehensive package to address the economic and health consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. The administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus proposal on Friday came under heavy criticism from lawmakers in both parties over the weekend, making its chances of passing appear remote.

White House officials will request that Congress approve legislation allowing firms demonstrating a decline in revenue to apply for a second round of PPP funding, which they are not allowed to do under existing law, according to one person familiar with the plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the administration’s internal planning.

“Now is the time for us to come together and immediately vote on a bill to allow us to spend the unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while we continue to work toward a comprehensive package,” Meadows and Mnuchin said in a letter to Congressional leaders.

The shift in strategy from the White House caps a week in which the president and his negotiators adopted a dizzying number of different approaches to securing a relief package through Congress. On Oct. 3, the president demanded Congress approve a relief package before three days, later abruptly calling off negotiations with Democrats, and then calling for action on only a handful of priorities, including airline relief and $1,200 stimulus checks. On Wednesday, Mnuchin and Pelosi began discussing a stand-alone measure to provide relief for the airline industry, but those talks were abandoned the next day as Trump again pushed for a wider agreement.

The confusion surrounding the administration’s position continued even as Mnuchin proposed a $1.8 trillion agreement to congressional leaders. On Friday, Trump said he wanted to see a “bigger” stimulus package than

Trump faces backlash for removing mask on return to White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump faced a fresh backlash on Tuesday for removing his mask when he returned to the White House and urging Americans not to fear the COVID-19 disease that has killed more than 209,000 people in the country and put him in hospital.

U.S. President Donald Trump poses on the Truman Balcony of the White House after returning from being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment, in Washington, U.S. October 5, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Trump arrived at the White House on Monday in a made-for-television spectacle in which he descended from his Marine One helicopter wearing a white surgical mask only to remove it as he posed, saluting and waving, on the mansion’s South Portico.

“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” Trump said in a video after his return from the Walter Reed Medical Center military hospital outside Washington where he was treated for the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“I’m better, and maybe I’m immune – I don’t know,” he added, flanked by American flags and with the Washington Monument in the background. “Get out there. Be careful.”

Trump, who was treated by an army of doctors and received experimental treatment, has repeatedly played down a disease that has killed more than 1 million people worldwide and left his own country with the highest death toll in the world.

The Republican president, running for re-election against Democrat Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election, was admitted to hospital on Friday after being diagnosed with the disease.

Trump has repeatedly flouted social-distancing guidelines meant to curb the virus’ spread and ignored his own medical advisers. He also mocked Biden at last Tuesday’s presidential debate for wearing a mask at events, even