With just a week left until the presidential election, almost everyone has given up on the stimulus package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, is still hopeful of striking a deal on the coronavirus stimulus package and checks before the November election.
Coronavirus stimulus checks: Nancy optimistic, but has complaints
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been negotiating the stimulus package for the past few weeks. They were expected to reach an agreement last week, but the two failed to reach a consensus.
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Previously, Pelosi said last weekend was the deadline to reach an agreement in order to get the bill ready before the election. However, on Sunday, Pelosi said she is still hopeful that a deal "could happen" this week.
Pelosi told CNN that she sent a list of pending issues to the White House, and expects Mnuchin to come up with answers Monday.
"I’ll never give up hope," she said. "I’m optimistic."
When asked if the deal could come before the election, Pelosi said, “It could happen this week in the House,” but it would depend on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “whether it would happen in the Senate." She also complained that Republicans keep "moving the goal posts."
Pelosi said she hasn’t yet reached a consensus with the White House on a national Covid-19 testing plan. It has been a major sticking point since the start of the negotiations. Last week, Pelosi was optimistic on reaching a consensus on the Covid-19 testing plan, saying the two teams were “just about there.”
Mnuchin also earlier said that the White House is ready to accept the Democratic language on the Covid-19 testing plan with only “minor” edits. Pelosi, however, later complained that the White House has changed about 55% of the proposed language.
“To do anything that does not crush the virus is really official malfeasance,” she said.
Meadows blames Pelosi for no deal
Earlier on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows gave the same reference to football to accuse Pelosi of intentionally avoiding the stimulus deal.
When Meadows was asked about the progress of Pelosi-Mnuchin negotiations, he told CNN that the Trump administration has made “offer, after offer, after offer,” but Pelosi keeps moving the “goalposts.”
Meadows also slammed the Democrats for defeating the so-called "skinny" proposals introduced by Senate Republicans last week. McConnell introduced two targeted relief proposals last week, but Senate Democrats blocked both of the bills. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer referred to the bills as “inadequate” and dismissed them as a political “stunt” from McConnell.
Talking about possible resistance from Senate Republicans over the bigger stimulus package, Meadows said McConnell would bring a bill to the floor if Pelosi concludes the negotiations successfully.
McConnell previously said that he wouldn’t bring a broader relief bill onto the Senate floor. Also, it was later reported that McConnell had asked the White House not to strike an expensive stimulus deal before the election.