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Trump suggests he could back a bigger coronavirus stimulus as top aide says he's more optimistic about a deal


White House Acting Chief of Staff Mark Meadows listens during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., April 18, 2020.

Al Drago | Reuters

President Donald Trump urged Republicans to embrace a larger coronavirus stimulus package Wednesday as a top White House aide showed more optimism about striking a deal with Democrats. 

In a tweet, the president told GOP lawmakers to “go for the much higher numbers” in legislation designed to boost an economy and health-care system struggling under the weight of the pandemic. Many Republicans have embraced limited relief — or backed no new spending at all — as the major parties struggle to break a stalemate over a fifth relief bill. 

Shortly after Trump tweeted, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” he is “probably more optimistic about the potential for a deal in the last 72 hours than I have been in the last 72 days.” The comment from Meadows, one of the two leading Trump administration negotiators in stimulus talks, followed the Tuesday release of a roughly $1.5 trillion aid proposal by the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus. 

Democratic House committee chairs rejected the proposal Tuesday as party leaders call to inject at least $2.2 trillion into the coronavirus fight.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates. 

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