A couple of months back, if you would have asked anyone about when the stimulus package would arrive; they would have confidently answered “definitely before the election.” Now, it is certain that the stimulus package will come (if it comes it all) after the election. Let’s take a look at where the lawmakers stand on the next coronavirus stimulus package and checks with just a day before the election.
Early last week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared close to reaching an agreement. The two sides made significant progress over the past few weeks, but things changed last week and the two started blaming each other for the impasse.
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Things turned ugly Thursday, when Mnuchin learned about a letter sent to him by Pelosi, from the media reports. According to the Washington Post, Pelosi sent that letter to Mnuchin’s office at midnight, and a few hours later, it was made public to the media.
In the letter, Pelosi said she is awaiting a response from the White House on the sticking issues. Also, in the letter, she listed all the unresolved issues between the two sides, such as aid for state and local governments, language for COVID-19 testing and tracing, tax credits for families, unemployment insurance and more.
Mnuchin called Pelosi’s letter a “political stunt.” “Your ALL OR NONE approach is hurting hard-working Americans who need help NOW,” Mnuchin said. Since then, there haven’t been any talks between the two sides. In terms of cost, the two sides are just $300 billion apart.
Pelosi has been asking for a stimulus package of about $2.2 trillion. In the counter-offer, the White House initially offered $1.8 trillion, but recently increased the offer to $1.9 trillion. Despite this, the two sides differ on several provisions.
When can we expect a stimulus package?
Everyone now, except for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, expects a deal immediately after the election. Last week, President Trump finally admitted that the stimulus package would come after the election. Speaking to reporters, he also promised coming up with the “best” stimulus package “ever seen.”
Trump reiterated the same on Friday, saying they will come up with “a tremendous stimulus package immediately after the election.”
Pelosi is also optimistic on a deal after the election. She intends to continue with the negotiations so that they can come up with a deal immediately after the election. On Friday, Pelosi said she is "still hopeful" of reaching a stimulus deal with the Trump administration.
Speaking to MSNBC on the timeline of the next bill, Pelosi said, “we don’t want to have to wait that long, because people have needs.”
McConnell, however, wants the lawmakers to consider the stimulus package early next year. Speaking on Hugh Hewitt's radio program on Friday, he said "I think that'll be something we'll need to do right at the beginning of the year."