There was more confusion Thursday on where Washington negotiations stand when it comes to another round of stimulus for an economy still reeling.
Days after pulling out of deal talks, President Donald Trump told Fox Business in an interview that talks have resumed and there’s a good chance a deal on helping the airline industry could soon be reached.
Somebody, however, forgot to tell the key negotiator for the Democrats.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw cold water on the Republican idea of passing a standalone bill to help the airlines before taking on a wide-reaching stimulus bill.
“Lives are at stake. Health is in the balance. This is deadly serious. So let's take a serious, not a skinny, not an emaciated, but a serious appropriate approach to crushing the virus. I have been very open to having a stand-alone bill for the airlines or part of a bigger bill. But there is no standalone bill without a bigger bill.”
The Democrats are adamant the next stimulus bill puts money into the pockets of struggling consumers, rescue the beleaguered airline industry, bolster small businesses, help unemployed Americans pay the rent and assist cash-strapped state and local governments.
Some Republicans are pushing back - saying the Democrats $2.2 trillion price tag is too big.
(WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS) "We're looking for potentials for stand-alone bills."
While the two sides duke it out, the clock is ticking on an economic recovery that’s already limping along. Forecasters are banking on another trillion dollars or more in government aid to keep this recovery going.
Job growth, considered the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, has clearly stalled with job cuts expanding to industries beyond the restaurants and hotels first slammed by the health crisis.
Some 25.5 million Americans were getting some type of state jobless aid through mid-September.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned this week that without another round of government aid there's a risk the recovery doesn't just continue to slow, but stops altogether.
“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery. Creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.” With the November election around the corner some economists worry it could be February before any kind of relief package makes its way through Congress.
That could feel like a lifetime for struggling consumers, businesses and state capitals - teetering on the brink of becoming an economic casualty.