House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has given the White House a 48-hour deadline to come to an agreement regarding the stimulus deal negotiations that have dragged on for months on end. She said the White House should demonstrate some seriousness in agreeing to a deal within the deadline period.
Pelosi said she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin must reach a deal within 48 hours if they wanted the coronavirus stimulus bill to pass before the election. She said this deadline only applies to get a deal ready before the election. She stated her optimism in seeing the deal witness a breakthrough and said everything was now in the hands of the Trump administration.
Pelosi feels that a deal needs to be achieved by Tuesday in order to have it passed by both the House and the Senate. She recognizes that if the deal gets dragged beyond the next couple of days, then the probability of it getting passed by both chambers before the election is almost non-existent.
Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, gave the public the state of things when he said that Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke for several hours on Saturday and that the pair came to an agreement on vital points in the deal. However, he said that there were a number of issues that needed sorting out, including testing and contact testing, and plans to address the devastating impact of the virus on minority communities.
President Trump is eager to have the stimulus bill passed before the elections and may have agreed that the treasury secretary goes above the current $1.8 trillion. On the other hand, there is no chance the Senate will approve the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that there’s no way he is putting a deal that exceeds $1.8 trillion on the Senate floor. He insists the Senate will consider bringing up the Paycheck Protection Program extension for a vote next week, and also a $500 billion relief package.
However, Democrats, who are expected to block McConnell’s efforts, have been pushing for a bigger deal. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer berated McConnell’s proposition and called it a sham. He said the proposed amount by McConnell was just too inadequate to meet pressing needs, such as state and local government funding, test and contact tracing, the safe reopening of schools, census, protection of health workers, and the payment of health care benefits.
The Trump administration has sought to negotiate with House Democrats on numerous occasions; however, a deal has remained elusive. Over the course of negotiations, the Democrats have insisted on a sweeping deal that crosses the $2 trillion mark.