A coronavirus stimulus package is one of the most talked about topics nowadays. Even though the chances of another stimulus package before the election is fading fast, a positive thing is that negotiations are still not dead. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talked about the coronavirus stimulus package and checks on Wednesday, and it is likely that the two will be negotiating again on Thursday.
Pelosi and Mnuchin discussed the stimulus package on Wednesday, but they didn’t reach an agreement, according to a CNBC report. The report said the two would pick up the negotiations again on Thursday, and it could likely be the final push to strike a deal before the November election.
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Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s spokesperson, in a tweet informed that Pelosi and Mnuchin had "productive" discussions on the language of the relief package delivered over the weekend. Hammill noted that the White House’s reluctance for a national strategic testing plan for COVID-19 continues to be a sticking point.
On Wednesday, Mnuchin also confirmed he had a “comprehensive discussion on a lot of issues” with Pelosi. Mnuchin said they made progress on some issues, but on some issues they “continue to be far apart.”
Last week, Pelosi rejected the White House offer of $1.8 trillion, saying it is "grossly inadequate" and "wholly insufficient." Pelosi also accused Trump of not taking the war against the virus “seriously, personally, or nationally.”
Nevertheless, the continuation of negotiations do hint that the White House may be willing to raise the offer further in order to strike a deal before the election. Trump recently also tweeted that he wants a bigger stimulus package.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump said the Congress should "go big or go home.”
Democrats to be blamed for no relief package?
Even though the negotiations are continuing, Mnuchin over the weekend asked Congress to allow the use of $130 billion in unused funds in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Treasury Secretary, however, also admitted that getting a stimulus package before the election would be “difficult.”
“I’d say at this point getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult, just given where we are,” Mnuchin said Wednesday.
When asked if Democrats do not want to make a deal and give Trump a win three weeks before the election, Mnuchin said, “I think that definitely is part of the reality. That’s definitely an issue.”
Mnuchin, however, noted that Trump really wants to do more when he wins the election, and that’s why they are still working on it. "The clock will not stop,” he said. These comments from Mnuchin came after an hour-long conversation with Pelosi on the coronavirus stimulus package and checks.
On Wednesday, Trump blamed Democrats for the impasse. “I’d like to see the Democrats loosen up a little bit,” he told the New York Economic Club.