Senate Republicans lashed out at a potential framework for a new coronavirus deal between the Trump administration and Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a conference call Saturday, warning that there was little support for a big spending bill right before the election.
At least two GOP senators warned White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that spending as much as $2 trillion on a big bill could backfire at the ballot box. The administration has floated a large spending deal to Pelosi but is trying to get her to back down on some spending levels, but senators said even the White House wants to spend too much, according to multiple sources briefed on the call.
“There’s no appetite right now to spend the White House number or the House number,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), according to two sources briefed on the call.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said that giving into Pelosi on anything seen as expansion of Obamacare in the next recovery bill will be seen as “an enormous betrayal by our supporters,” according to people familiar with the call.