October 21, 2020

Trump holds briefing as coronavirus relief negotiations continue


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President Donald Trump is expected to hold a press briefing on Tuesday as Republicans and Democrats continue to negotiate the parameters of the next coronavirus relief package.

Lawmakers have struggled to find common ground on the bill, with Democrats arguing to keep a $600 a week jobless benefit in the proposal and Republicans looking to slash the payments to $200 a week. There are several other stumbling blocks the two parties are haggling over, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said she doesn’t expect a deal to be struck this week.

But the Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, on Tuesday said negotiations are moving in the right direction, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was open to supporting a deal between Democrats and the White House.

Tuesday’s briefing comes after Trump once again insisted that the pandemic is “under control” in the United States. Trump first downplayed the pandemic months ago as the coronavirus gained steam. The U.S. has had more than 4.7 million cases and at least 155,478 deaths, according to the latest tallies from Johns Hopkins University, more than any other country. 

CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.

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