Negotiations are still ongoing over the next stimulus package even with the presidential election just days away. It seems the negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the coronavirus stimulus package and checks are going well, as on Thursday Pelosi said we are “just about there.”
Journalist Jake Sherman shared Pelosi’s comment who also said, "I do believe that both sides want to reach an agreement. I can't answer for the disarray on the Senate side."
Pelosi’s words we are "just about there" are not for the full package, rather for the coronavirus testing, tracing and healthcare provisions in the bill. It has been a major sticking point in the negotiations so far.
Talking about another round of coronavirus stimulus checks, Pelosi said, “We’ve come, I think, to terms.”
Though Pelosi said we are "just about there," she also noted that the two still have differences over some issues. As per Pelosi, the two sides are still divided on issues, including state and local funding and liability laws. Sherman noted that these two are the “most difficult issues” currently for Pelosi.
On Thursday, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told Fox Business that the two sides still have “significant policy differences” they need to resolve. Also, he said the "clock is ticking" for the two sides to reach an agreement before the presidential election.
Apart from talking about the coronavirus stimulus package and checks, Pelosi also talked about reports of foreign interference in the U.S. elections. Pelosi said the Director of National Intelligence will soon brief her.
“I don't know what the DNI is up to with this. Hopefully it's wholesome," she said.
Will there be a stimulus package before the election?
Pelosi and Mnuchin may eventually reach an agreement on the stimulus package, but it is unlikely to get the Senate’s approval. Several GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have expressed doubt over the proposals introduced by Democrats and also the one drafted by the Trump administration.
McConnell, on the other hand, introduced two so-called “skinny” bills in the Senate. However, Senate Democrats blocked both of the bills. Also, it was reported that McConnell has asked the White House not to go for a larger stimulus before the election.
President Donald Trump, however, is still favoring a bigger stimulus package. He is aware of the GOP resistance, but believes that they will eventually come along if there is an agreement. Previously, he also suggested that he would convince the GOP in no time.
Thus, it remains to be seen whether or not the GOP would back a proposal endorsed by Trump. But, for that to happen, Pelosi and Mnuchin need to finally reach a deal. Pelosi has already said that any chance of passing a stimulus package before the election depends on if they reach an agreement this week or not.