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 MeadowsNegotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms Trump dismisses legal questions on GOP nomination speech at White House Overnight Defense: Esper says 'most believe' Beirut explosion was accident, contradicting Trump | Trump later says 'nobody knows yet' what happened in Lebanon | 61-year-old reservist ID'd as fourth military COVID-19 death 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 SchumerGroup of GOP senators back more money for airlines to pay workers GOP super PAC launching August ad blitz Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package 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 TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation 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.”