Coronavirus talks on the brink of collapse, the sides are still ‘far apart’

Washington talks about critical Covid-19 rescue money are on the verge of failure after a marathon meeting in the Capitol on Thursday night created a flood of recriminations but little progress on the key issues faced by negotiators. Mnuchin and Chief of Staff of the White House Mark Meadows said they would return to the White House to notify President Donald Trump of the next steps. Democratic negotiators have called for the talks to continue.

A collapse in the negotiations will put at risk more than $100 billion to help re-open schools, a fresh round of $1,200 direct grants to most people, and hundreds of billions of dollars to state and local governments to help them stop overcrowding employees and cut services as tax revenues shrivel.

Defeat would also have political implications that could be difficult to foresee, but among those most interested in finding an agreement are the Senate Republicans facing tough re-election races this fall. Trump, whose drop in the polls coincided with the continued spread of the virus, was also seen as eager to get a deal. But his top negotiators have signaled that they are ready to leave. McConnell sent the Senate home instead of pressuring frustrated senators to give their time while the Democrats were playing hardball. The step indicates that a vote will not be held until late next week, or even later.