Lawmakers have been unable to reach a deal on the Coronavirus stimulus package so far despite three months of negotiations. Now with two weeks left until the election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is likely making one last push to strike a deal. On Saturday, Pelosi set a 48-hour deadline to pass a coronavirus stimulus package and checks.
Pelosi has called on the Trump administration to resolve the differences over the stimulus package within 48 hours in an attempt to pass the package before the November election. She set the deadline following a meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday. The two agreed to speak again on Monday.
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Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, Pelosi said she is optimistic about the negotiations, but the deal will eventually depend on the White House. This deadline effectively gives the White House until Tuesday to reach an agreement on the stimulus package. A deal by Tuesday would also stand a chance to pass both chambers of Congress before the Nov. 3 election.
"We're saying to them, we have to freeze the design on some of these things — are we going with it or not and what is the language? I'm optimistic, because again we've been back and forth on all this," she said.
On Sunday, Pelosi also informed House Democrats that Mnuchin had delivered the language on the coronavirus testing that she had been asking for. Pelosi, in a letter, said there was some "encouraging news" but added that "much work remains" on the issue.
On Saturday, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill tweeted that there are an “array of additional differences” between the two sides. These differences need to be resolved within the 48-hour deadline.
Will there be a deal now?
Now, whether or not you get coronavirus stimulus checks will depend upon the White House’s intent, and then whether or not it gets support from the Senate. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell effectively killed chances of a large relief package, saying he won’t put such a bill on the Senate floor.
McConnell also announced that the Senate would vote on a targeted stimulus bill on Wednesday. This bill costing about $500 billion would boost funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers support to small businesses, as well as funding for schools and expanded unemployment benefits.
“This is half a trillion dollars of good that Congress can do right now,” McConnell said on Saturday.
Last month, Democrats blocked a similar bill costing about $500 billion introduced by Senate Republicans. Both of the bills didn’t include coronavirus stimulus checks.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump continues to blame Pelosi for no deal so far. “I want stimulus money now but Nancy Pelosi won’t approve it because she is playing politics,” read a Sunday tweet from the Trump campaign’s official Twitter account.