As Congressional leaders negotiate another COVID-19 relief bill to provide much-needed aid to Americans, President Donald Trump is signaling his willingness to sign a bill.
In an interview with the outlet, Hawley shared some details of a conversation he had with Trump on the way back from Georgia on Saturday.
“I said, ‘I think it’s vital that any relief include direct payments, and I’m not gonna vote for it if it doesn’t.’ And I also urged him to veto any bill that did not have direct payments in it,” Hawley said.
He went on to say it is “wild” that neither a Republican-crafted relief bill nor a $908 billion bipartisan bill include direct payments like the $1,200 payments that were sent to Americans under the first CARES Act passed in March.
He continued, ‘”We had a good conversation about it. And, you know, a pretty thorough conversation. He asked a number of questions about the state of play of the different proposals. And I think it’s fair to say that he was surprised at the direction that some of these were headed.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has also voiced support for another round of direct payments and reportedly recently spoke to Hawley about the issue.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has introduced a roughly $500 billion “targeted” coronavirus bill that would extend enhanced unemployment benefits, provide funding for vaccines, and more aid for small businesses.
After months of gridlock, McConnell said, “We have seen some hopeful signs of engagement from our Democratic colleagues. But we have no reason to think the underlying disagreements about policy are going to evaporate overnight.”
For his part, Trump said he would sign a bill if it is passed by Congress.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the $908 billion relief proposal should be “used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.”
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