President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass a stimulus package as he remains hospitalized with coronavirus.
'OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!' Trump tweeted on Saturday from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have spent the past week in talks over a potential new coronavirus aid package to respond to the economic fallout from a pandemic that has killed more than 207,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work.
A spokesman for Pelosi said she and Mnuchin spoke for 65 minutes on Friday, discussing areas of disagreement between Democrats and Republicans. The spokesman said negotiations are ongoing.
Trump posted his stimulus tweet shortly after his doctors held a press briefing to give updates on his condition.
He also tweeted his thanks to the medical team, writing: 'Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!! Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!'
President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass a stimulus package in a tweet on Saturday
He also tweeted his thanks to the medical team at Walter Reed hospital, where he is currently undergoing experimental treatments after testing positive for coronavirus on Thursday
The president, 74, gave a 'thumbs up' as he walked from the White House to Marine One to be airlifted to hospital on Friday evening
Congress and the White House approved more than $3trillion worth of coronavirus relief measures earlier this year, but Mnuchin, as well as members of Congress from both parties, have argued more stimulus is needed.
In a letter to her fellow Democrats on Friday, Pelosi outlined the areas where she and Mnuchin still have differences.
'Our negotiations with the administration continue, and I am hopeful that we can reach agreement,' she said. 'However, we sill have significant disagreement in key areas.'
These areas included aid to state and local governments, unemployment insurance, provisions on testing and tracing, and Democratic demands for a child tax credit, she said.
Pelosi said the White House was also seeking to reduce a section of the bill that appropriates money for many priorities to $100billion, from $144billion. She gave no details but said: 'We await the changes they are suggesting.'
Democrats have proposed spending $2.2trillion on coronavirus relief. Their plan was approved by the Democratic-majority House of Representatives on Thursday night, but it has no future in the Republican-run Senate.
Trump's negotiating team has suggested a $1.6trillion response, and dismissed Democrats' $2.2trillion plan as not serious.
The president's tweet about expediting the negotiations came as he continues working from Walter Reed hospital after having been diagnosed with coronavirus on Thursday.