The ongoing negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were seen as the last hope of a coronavirus stimulus package before the election. However, the two sides now are accusing each other of moving the goalposts in the negotiations, suggesting there would be no coronavirus stimulus package and checks before the election.
Coronavirus stimulus checks: Pelosi, Meadows accuse each other
On Sunday, Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows traded accusations over the failure to reach a consensus on the stimulus package. Speaking to CNN, Meadows said they have been making “offer after offer” but Pelosi “continues to move the goalposts.”
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Also, Meadows said that they have identified the Senate Republicans who would probably vote for the stimulus bill. However, he said "We're not Nancy Pelosi," adding, "We're not going to vote or opine on a bill and pass it before we've read it."
In a separate interview on Sunday, Pelosi also said, "They keep moving the goalposts."
Talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin have been ongoing for the past few weeks. The two sides have made significant progress, but still have differences on several provisions. Pelosi, on Sunday, indicated that the two sides haven’t yet reached a consensus on major issues, such as coronavirus testing, unemployment benefits and aid for state and local governments.
Since last Sunday, Pelosi has been waiting for the White House to agree to the language on testing. "They said we'll support the testing language with a minor touch. That was 55% of the language. We're still waiting for the final okay. And that is a central issue in all of this," Pelosi said.
Pelosi still hopeful of a deal this week
Expressing hope on the stimulus deal, Pelosi on Friday said she sent the White House a list of remaining issues. She expects to get an answer on it by Monday. Pelosi, however, noted that the deal would depend upon Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
It is up to “Mitch as to whether it would happen in the Senate and go to the President's desk, which is our hope and prayer," she said.
Previously, Pelosi noted that a deal needed to be sealed by the end of last week to stand a chance of getting approval before the election. Though the deadline came and went, Pelosi said she will "never give up hope" on a bill before election day.
"I’m optimistic. We put pen to paper and have been writing the bill based on what we hope will be the outcome, what they said they would get back to us on," she said.
Pelosi also hinted about a stimulus deal after the election. She said that “people need help right away" and that is why she will continue to work with the White House and McConnell even if Democrats win the election.