Rift Forms Between Republican Senators, White House On Next Coronavirus Relief Bill

(TheFreedomFlag.com)- A rift between the White House and Senate Republicans seems to have emerged over the structure of the next coronavirus relief package.

While the two camps began meeting to hash out details of their proposal on Tuesday, not much progress was made, as the two sides disagree on a number of fronts. Among the sticking points are a payroll tax cut that President Donald Trump wants, whether to include more support for a boost in weekly unemployment benefits, as well as the overall total sum of the package.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other party members met with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but there wasn’t much progress made on the big issues. If anything, sources said, the meeting highlighted the major differences in opinions.

As McConnell said following that meeting:

“There are some differences of opinion on the question of the payroll tax cut and whether that’s the best way to go. And we’re still in discussions with the administration on that.”

There’s even a variety of opinions on the next stimulus package among Republicans in the Senate. That won’t stop the party from unveiling a package that will get the support of most of them, though.

“I’m going to introduce a bill in the next few days that is a starting place, that enjoys fairly significant support among Republican senators — probably not everyone,” McConnell said.

One person unhappy with how things are headed is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who doesn’t believe in spending as much money as is being proposed. He told reporters on Tuesday:

“I just walked out of a meeting that could be sort of a Bernie Bros, progressive caucus. I’m alarmed that we’re talking about spending another trillion dollars we don’t have.”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is another person who isn’t on board with the spending. He said many other senators, too, “were expressing serious concerns that we are spending too damn much money.”

Cruz, for one, said he isn’t for spending more money. He believes the government should focus on trying to restart the economy.

“What I said to my colleagues is what the hell are we doing. We can’t keep shoveling cash at this problem,” he said.

This rift has given Democrats a chance to pounce. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Republicans’ ideas are “inadequate,” and he said the party is “paralyzed by internal divisions among themselves, and by divisions with the president.”

Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also met with Meadows and Mnuchin on Tuesday. Mnuchin stressed to Senate Republicans that the meeting was not a negotiation session. Pelosi and Schumer both said they were told bipartisan negotiations wouldn’t begin until the Senate released its plan.

“We have a bill. Let’s see their bill, and see where we go from here. I think their delay is their disarray,” Pelosi said.

“We can’t negotiate on a vague concept. We need a specific bill,” Schumer said.