On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits

On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits
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THE BIG DEAL—Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid: A chess match has emerged over a new round of COVID-19 relief, with multiple players arguing over timing as larger political implications shadow the talks.

The eleventh-hour chess match being orchestrated by Washington's most powerful figures — each of them facing unique pressures and driven by competing motivations — carries the highest stakes: 

  • The Senate is up for grabs, 
  • The president is facing increasingly grim odds of reelection,
  • And Americans are growing evermore anxious about the health and economic toll inflicted by a new burst of coronavirus cases. 

The Hill’s Mike Lillis breaks it down here.

The state of play: Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke again for almost an hour on Wednesday afternoon, with the sides “closer to being able to put pen to paper to write legislation,” according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill. They are expected to speak again on Thursday.

Read more: Pelosi bullish on COVID-19 deal: 'Help is on the way'

The ACB connection: 

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to report Barrett's nomination to the full Senate on Thursday. 
  • McConnell has said the Senate will vote to confirm her on Monday, which would hand Trump and Senate Republicans a major victory and morale boost just a week before voters head to the polls. 
  • That late surge of momentum could be just enough for McConnell and his team to preserve their fragile Senate majority. But a bipartisan stimulus deal around the same time could take the national spotlight away from the GOP’s Supreme Court triumph and refocus it squarely on divisions between Trump and his GOP allies.

The Trump card: As always, President Trump remains a wild card in negotiations. While he first called for a massive stimulus bill, he backed away from talks, then called for a smaller piecemeal approach and then came full circle to support a package even larger than Democrats have proposed.

“The quicker we can make a deal the better off it is for all Americans,” White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsStephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here Trump attacks Karl Rove: 'A pompous fool with bad advice' MORE told reporters Wednesday in the Capitol, where he huddled with Republicans.

Read more: Trump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism 


NYT—Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: President Trump's tax records show that China is one of three foreign countries where he maintains a bank account, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management LLC, which paid $188,561 in taxes in China from 2013 to 2015, according to the Times.

In addition to the Chinese account, Trump also has bank accounts in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The president's foreign bank accounts are held under corporate names and as a result don't appear on the president's public financial disclosure forms, the Times reported.

The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more here.

Nearly 1 million people have run out of unemployment payments: analysis: Nearly 1 million people have exhausted their unemployment benefits since March after losing their jobs to the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis published Wednesday by a progressive think tank.

The Century Foundation calculated that 933,731 people received their maximum allotment of unemployment insurance payments by Aug. 31, according to Labor Department and Treasury Department data. The number and size of unemployment insurance payments are determined by each state.

The U.S. has gained back nearly 11 million of the jobs lost to the pandemic as of September and the unemployment rate has declined to 7.8 percent. Even so, roughly 25 million people remain on some form of jobless benefits.

I explain here why it marks a troubling sign for the U.S. economy.



  • A coalition of travel, restaurant, retail, and state and local government groups launched a digital advertising campaign on Wednesday calling for Congress to quickly approve a new coronavirus relief package.