In an attempt to reach a bipartisan deal, the White House came up with a $1.6 trillion offer. This package was in response to Democrats’ $2.2 trillion HEROES Act 2.0. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted this offer, which included coronavirus stimulus checks and other benefits, saying it isn’t even “half a loaf.”
Pelosi doesn’t find $1.6 trillion enough
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been in talks since Monday to strike a deal on the relief package. During the negotiations, the White House gave a counteroffer costing about $1.6 trillion. On Monday, the House Democrats also introduced an updated HEROES Act costing about $2.2 trillion.
This new proposal from the White House is much closer to what Pelosi wants. On many provisions, it even matches the amount that Democrats proposed in the updated HEROES Act. Still, Pelosi rejected it, saying it is not enough to fight the economic and public-health crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This isn't half a loaf. What they're offering is the heel of the loaf," she told Bloomberg TV, adding, "it's no use going into a negotiation if you say, 'I'll just take the path of least resistance.'"
Pelosi also brought up a new sticking point in the negotiations and it is related to the child tax credit. This tax credit lowers the tax burden for families with kids 17 and under. Pelosi told Bloomberg that the counteroffer from the White House doesn’t include funding for this credit. About 40 million families benefit from this credit every year.
Speaking to reporters Thursday before her call with Mnuchin (and after the $1.6 trillion was proposed to her), Pelosi admitted that Democrats and Republicans are “way off” on many key issues, such as funding for state and local governments. However, she was hopeful of reaching an agreement.
“Hopefully we can find our common ground on this and do so soon,” Pelosi said.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed yesterday that Pelosi isn’t interested in the $1.6 trillion offer. “We raised our offer to $1.6 trillion,” McEnany told reporters. “It’s one that she is not interested in.”
Now that Pelosi has rejected the $1.6 trillion counteroffer, which included coronavirus stimulus checks and other benefits, it will be interesting to see what the White House will do now. It is unlikely that the White House will raise its offer further because even for the $1.6 trillion offer, it needed to convince the Senate Republicans.
Republican leaders have long been opposing the HEROES Act, including the updated one. Recently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the $2.2 trillion bill “outlandish,” telling reporters that “It’s safe to say we’re far apart.”
Senator John Thune echoed similar sentiments as well, saying any proposal more than $1 trillion may divide the GOP. “As the price goes up, the Republican vote total goes down,” the senator said, as per Roll Call.