“The items are the post office and the $3.5 billion for mail-in voting,” Trump told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo. “If we don’t make the deal, that means can’t have the money, that means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. It just can’t happen.”
White House and Democratic officials signaled on Wednesday they were nowhere close to cutting a deal, despite weeks of closed-door negotiations, with each side continuing to blame the other for the standoff.
The stalemate over the next round of virus aid now appears likely to drag on for weeks, possibly into September.
One of the biggest points of contention between the two sides is the price tag: Negotiators are trying to bridge the divide between a $1 trillion aid package put forward by Senate Republicans at the end of July, and the $3 trillion legislation passed by House Democrats in May.
The House-backed legislation includes $25 billion in funding for the Post Office and would repeal several restrictions on a $10 billion line of credit for the cash-poor agency approved in an earlier aid package.
When the pandemic first gained a foothold in the U.S., postal leaders told lawmakers they anticipated that the mail service would hemorrhage about $2 billion a month for 18 months, risking insolvency as soon as September.
But in revised financial data obtained by The Washington Post, postal leaders said a spike in e-commerce transactions may have temporarily saved the USPS from financial ruin.