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Discussions about the next round of coronavirus relief funds remain embroiled in a policy back and forth over election money, with the topic of mail-order voting a protracted point of contention between Democrats and the Trump administration.
President Trump on Wednesday spent most of his daily briefing on reporters rejecting additional funding to support the U.S. Postal Service and postal voting, making the baseless accusation that postal voting is ripe for fraud.
“Democrats have abandoned the American people over the simple subject of politics. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are holding the American people hostage before money for the radical, left-wing agenda that the country does not want and will not accept,” Trump said.
“Now they want to get it all over the country – postal voting. It will be the biggest fraud in election history. When you always talk about Russia, Russia, Russia and China, Iran on the ballot – the biggest problem will be to be with the Democrats, not with China, Russia and Iran. “
Each side continued to blame the other for rejecting the budget. Democrats have said they are willing to compromise with Republicans to reach an agreement to provide Americans with financial relief from the effects of the deadly pandemic, but party leaders said Trump and his allies have refused to meet with him. with himself in negotiations.
“A parade was made by [Treasury] secretary [Steven] Mnuchin to meet and he made it clear that his television comments from earlier today stand: The White House is not stepping out of their position regarding the size and purpose of a legislative package, “said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a joint statement.
“Democrats have compromised. We have repeatedly clarified to the Administration that we are willing to deduct $ 1 trillion if $ 1 trillion is to come out. However, it is clear that the Administration still does not understand the magnitude of the problems that American families are facing. face “
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts suggest that up to 70% of the vote could be mailed this election cycle, requiring costly equipment upgrades to handle the rise.
Last month, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, said in the Senate floor that he was “willing to look at more money for states that will use it for elections this year,” saying signaled a new readiness by Republicans to address the issue.
Still, the Trump administration on Wednesday seemed steadfast.
“The administration is ready to move forward with legislation that allows significant funding for schools, childcare, food, vaccines, hospitals, [personal protective equipment] “for small businesses, rent assistance, broadband, airports, state and local government assistance, and protection of responsibilities for universities, schools and businesses,” Mnuchin said in a statement.
“Democrats have no interest in negotiating.”