Here’s where stimulus talks stand after Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion proposal

Lawmakers’ on-again, off-again stimulus talks were revived over the weekend after President Donald Trump’s administration put forth a $1.8 trillion offer — but a deal on another coronavirus relief package remains in limbo.

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The president last week called off negotiations and shifted the focus to confirming his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a move heavily criticized by Democrats in Congress.

“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” Trump tweeted Oct. 6.

The White House pivoted on its stance days later by offering its costliest plan yet.

Its $1.8 trillion proposal includes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks like those sent to Americans under the CARES Act in the spring and a $400 weekly boost to unemployment benefits among other things, according to

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Trump administration’s latest Covid relief proposal to Dems gets closer, but hurdles remain

WASHINGTON — Details of the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion offer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Covid-19 relief legislation obtained by NBC News reveal that they have moved closer to the Democrats’ position — but major hurdles still remain.

The new offer increases the topline number, adds money for food, mortgage, and rental assistance, increases the amount for federal response to the pandemic, unemployment insurance, and direct payments to Americans.

Pelosi, D-Calif., told her members in a letter Saturday morning that the proposal is “insufficient.”

And on the other side of the Capitol, Senate Republicans on Saturday expressed their deep displeasure with the administration’s price tag of nearly $2 trillion in a phone call with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to three sources familiar with the phone call.

Any deal would have to pass the Republican-led Senate and time is running out

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Trump administration’s H-1B visa crackdown: Expect big hike in foreign worker wage costs

Tech companies on Tuesday were hit with major changes to the high-skilled worker H-1B visa program that will make them pay foreign employees much higher wages. 

The changes to the skilled visa program were announced by the White House as the Department of Labor announced an interim final rule that aims to bring wages of foreign workers in line with wages paid to US workers in similar roles. The department’s rule takes effect once it’s been published by the Office of the Federal Register.  

The administration has framed the H-1B reforms and foreign employee wage requirement as a way to protect American workers as the coronavirus pandemic pummels the US labor market. 

The Department of Labor said the pandemic combined with potential abuses of the H-1B visa program required “immediate corrective action”. 

“The US Department of Labor is strengthening wage protections, addressing abuses in these visa programs, and ensuring American

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