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Meadows: 'I'm not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term' on coronavirus package

Meadows: 'I'm not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term' on coronavirus package
© Bonnie Cash

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsDespite veto threat, Congress presses ahead on defense bill EPA chief quarantining after exposure to someone who later tested positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Barr splits with Trump on election; pardon controversy MORE said Sunday that he is “not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term” on negotiations on another coronavirus relief package.

Asked about Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Trump supporters could hand Senate control to Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) saying some progress had been made, Meadows responded, “I would characterize it that way, but we still have a long ways to go.”

"Yesterday was a step in the right direction," Meadows said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "I'm not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term." 

Meadows also cast Democratic lawmakers as the reason for the impasse.

“If you have unemployed people that have lost their enhanced unemployment, they need to call their Democrat senators and House members because they’re the ones standing in the way,” he said.

Asked what he would say to House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the guest on an upcoming segment, Meadows responded, “I think the proper question is, are you willing to encourage Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] to look at doing a standalone bill for enhanced unemployment and encouraging her Senate colleagues to do the same?”

Guest host John Dickerson also pressed Meadows on President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE’s tweet last week suggesting delaying the 2020 election due to mail-in voting.

“All of this comes down to one thing: universal mail-in ballots,” Meadows said. “That is not a good idea for the country.”

He pointed to the time it took to determine the results of New York’s recent Democratic primaries, saying Trump himself has not looked into delaying the election, which the president does not have the power to do.

Asked by Dickerson whether it was “responsible” for Trump to introduce the possibility, Meadows responded, “It was a question mark. ... It is responsible for him to say, if we try to go to 100 percent universal mail-in ballots, will we have an election result on Nov. 3? No, I would suggest we wouldn’t even have it on Jan. 3.”