It was reported last week that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have agreed to resume negotiations. On Sunday, Pelosi expressed optimism that they would reach a deal on a coronavirus relief package that many expect to include stimulus checks of $1,200.
Coronavirus stimulus checks: Pelosi hopeful on agreement
Last week, both Mnuchin and Pelosi confirmed the reports that they would resume negotiations on the next relief package.
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“I've probably spoken to Speaker Pelosi 15 or 20 times in the last few days ... and we've agreed to continue to have discussions about the CARES Act," Mnuchin said last week at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.
Pelosi also told reporters that she is hoping to resume negotiations with Mnuchin "hopefully soon." Then on Sunday, Pelosi told CNN’s “State of the Union” program that she is optimistic on an agreement and that she trusts Secretary Mnuchin.
“I trust Secretary Mnuchin to represent something that can reach a solution, and I believe we come to an agreement,” Pelosi said. "We are having our conversations with the administration. It is in good faith."
Last week there were also reports that Democrats are working on a $2.4 trillion package. Pelosi, however, says they prefer to have a bipartisan agreement rather than come up with a bill that won’t pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
“I’d rather have a deal that puts money in people’s pockets than to have a rhetorical argument. What we will be putting forth is a proffer to say, now let us negotiate within a time frame and a dollar amount to get the job done,” she said.
Since the start of the negotiations in late July, Pelosi has been favoring a relief package of more than $2 trillion, which includes coronavirus stimulus checks, unemployment insurance, money for state and local governments and more.
“The public is going to have to see why $2.2, or now $2.4, perhaps, is necessary,” Pelosi said.
Will there be a deal now?
The words from Pelosi are surely encouraging. If both Pelosi and Mnuchin really do intend to resume negotiations and agree on a deal, then there are chances that we may have a deal sometime this week. Having a deal this week is important because the House is scheduled to go on a break until election from October 2.
If the two sides do reach a deal this week, then it is possible that people would get coronavirus stimulus checks before the election. However, it is unlikely the two sides will reach an agreement that soon. One reason for this is the lawmakers still have one more important issue at hand, and that is filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat.
President Donald Trump has nominated Ginsburg’s successor, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, but Democrats and Joe Biden argue that the right to nominate should be reserved for the President who wins the November election.