Hopes of another round of stimulus checks are still not completely out of the question. Since last week, we have seen reports of new proposals being made to narrow the gap between the two sides. Now, reports are that the GOP could be considering a $1.5T coronavirus relief package to get closer to Democrats’ $2.2T package.
Last week, it was reported that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made an offer of $1.3 trillion to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The offer, however, was rejected as Pelosi reiterated her demand for a $2.2 trillion relief package.
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Now, there are reports that the GOP could be willing to raise the coronavirus relief package price further to strike a deal. According to the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a House Select Subcommittee hearing on Tuesday suggested an idea to increase the size of the bill to $1.5 trillion.
“Whether it’s one trillion or one-and-a-half trillion, again, let’s not get caught on a number,” Mnuchin said.
Further, Mnuchin acknowledged that both sides agree on the need for additional unemployment benefits, small businesses and stimulus checks. The Treasury Secretary also noted that the White House had softened its opposition to the Democratic demand for more money to the state and local governments.
Mnuchin said he and Meadows “conceded…in an effort to get a deal done” by agreeing to approve more money for cities and states. Even though Mnuchin supported raising the size of the bill to strike a deal, he is not in favor of a $2.2 trillion package.
When Rep. Maxine Waters asked Mnuchin if he is in favor of a package that Pelosi is asking for, Mnuchin said, “I do not support $2.2 trillion.”
No progress so far
Mnuchin had a talk with Pelosi on Tuesday, but it isn't clear if he proposed the $1.5T coronavirus relief package. Pelosi’s comments after the call made it clear that the phone call with Mnuchin resulted in little or no progress.
Pelosi said she doesn’t agree with Mnuchin’s idea to “do a little now and a little later.”
"Sadly, this phone call made clear that Democrats and the White House continue to have serious differences understanding the gravity of the situation that America's working families are facing,” she said in a statement, as per CNBC.
Meadows also had a phone call with Pelosi last week, but no progress was made. At the time, Meadows made a $1.2 trillion offer for the relief package. Pelosi rejected the offer saying the amount is inadequate to meet the needs of Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, it would be interesting to see Pelosi’s response if the GOP does propose a $1.5T coronavirus relief package. Meanwhile, there are also reports that the Senate is preparing a skinny proposal that could cost about $500 billion.