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Pelosi Sets Tuesday Deadline For Stimulus Agreement

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Sunday that economic stimulus deal for further COVID-19 relief must be struck by Tuesday if a bill is to be passed before Election Day
  • Negotiations between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have inched closer to an agreement, though significant differences remain
  • Any deal faces uncertainty in the Republican-controlled Senate, which is planning a vote on smaller relief bills this week

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that a compromise must be reached on new economic stimulus by Tuesday if a bill is to be brought before Congress before Election Day. Pelosi is continuing to negotiate with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in an effort to craft a COVID-19 relief package that has a chance of satisfying both Democrats and Republicans.

The parties have been at odds for months over the size and scope of a new relief bill. House Democrats passed its $3.4 trillion HEROES Act this summer, and more recently approved an updated version that cut the funding level to $2.2 trillion, but Republicans have been reluctant to support higher spending.

While there is broad agreement on some measures, such as stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, and another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding to support small businesses, the parties disagree on several other issues. In particular, Republicans have largely resisted Democratic efforts to secure federal funding to support state and local governments whose tax revenues have been seriously diminished by the business shutdowns and closures brought on by COVID-19.

Pelosi’s ultimatum comes almost two weeks after President Donald Trump canceled talks, accusing Pelosi of not negotiating in good faith after rejecting the White House’s offer of a $1.8 trillion stimulus package. The cancelation was short-lived, and Trump has since said he is willing to accept spending even higher than the $2.2 trillion HEROES Act, though he remains opposed to state and local aid.

Trump’s position puts him at odds with Republican leadership in the Senate, which has remained firmly against higher spending. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning a standalone vote on Tuesday for renewed PPP funding, a position previously advocated by Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. McConnell is also planning to vote on a $500 billion “skinny” relief package, though this bill previously failed to secure enough support after Democrats rejected it as insufficient.

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