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No Deal on New COVID Relief Bill as Congress Debates 'Paying People More to Stay Home'

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks during a press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON - Negotiations have resumed on the latest round of coronavirus relief but the White House says a deal has not been reached. 

"I'm totally involved and we are going to be doing something things that are good," said President Donald Trump. 

President Trump sent White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to Capitol Hill hoping to strike a deal with Democrats. 

"We're not close yet, but it was a productive discussion," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Schumer says money for state and local needs as well paying for schools to open safety is a must. 

"What started as probably the first day of a good foundation, production discussions, and building upon those until we reach an agreement," said Meadows.

The agreement hinges on unemployment benefits. Democrats want the original $600 a week extended until January 2021. Republicans want to reduce the amount to $200 a week. 

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) argues 30 million Americans count on that support for food, housing, and childcare. 

"What we are doing is not only trying to arrest the virus but to invest in the economy," said Pelosi. 

But the White House argues the higher amount hurts the economy because some people make more money by remaining unemployed. 

"There's no question in certain cases where we're paying people more to stay home then to work that's created issues in the entire economy," said Mnuchin. 

Congress is now getting ready for an August recess which puts more pressure on lawmakers to hash out a deal. 

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