Pelosi says Trump stimulus proposal is 'one step forward, two steps back'
By Jan Wolfe WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday said a new $1.8 trillion economic stimulus proposal from the Trump administration 'amounted to one step forward, two steps back' and would need changes to get support from congressional Democrats. In a weekly letter to Democratic colleagues, Pelosi said the Trump administration's proposal lacked a 'strategic plan to crush the virus' and gave President Donald Trump too much discretion to decide how funds were allocated
By Jan Wolfe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday said a new $1.8 trillion economic stimulus proposal from the Trump administration "amounted to one step forward, two steps back" and would need changes to get support from congressional Democrats.
In a weekly letter to Democratic colleagues, Pelosi said the Trump administration's proposal lacked a "strategic plan to crush the virus" and gave President Donald Trump too much discretion to decide how funds were allocated.
"At this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities, and Democrats are awaiting language from the Administration on several provisions as the negotiations on the overall funding amount continue," Pelosi's letter said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin floated the $1.8 trillion proposal in a 30-minute Friday afternoon phone conversation, according to the White House.
The new White House package was higher than an earlier $1.6 trillion Mnuchin offer and closer to the $2.2 trillion that the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed last week.
White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said the administration wanted to keep spending below $2 trillion but was eager to enact a fresh round of direct payments to individuals as well as aid small businesses and airlines.
Friday marked the third straight day of talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in Congress, said on Friday he doubted lawmakers would pass a package before the Nov. 3 election, although he has not directly participated in the talks.
"The proximity to the election and the differences of opinion over what is needed at this particular juncture are pretty vast," McConnell told a news conference in his home state of Kentucky.
There was no immediate comment on Saturday from the Treasury, White House, or McConnell's office.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Ross Colvin and Rosalba O'Brien)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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