On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that differences remain with President Donald Trump’s administration on a wide-ranging corona virus relief package but she was optimistic legislation could be pushed through before Election Day.
Pelosi, the top elected Democrat, said she wanted a bill passed before the 3rd November presidential election between Republican Trump and Democrat Joe Biden but acknowledge an agreement would have to come within 48 hours for that to happen. In an interview with ABC’s “This Week” she said, “I am optimistic because, again, we have been back and forth on all of this.”
However, with Nancy Pelosi negotiating partner, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in the Middle East until Tuesday, a deal appears to be a long shot.
The White House proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus last week to help Americans struggling with the economic ravages of the corona virus pandemic. Nancy Pelosi said the offer fell short in a range of areas including tax credits for poor people, aid to state and local governments, worker protections, and rent help. She has stuck to her demand for a $2.2 trillion aid and the stimulus package.
The Republicans who control the Senate, however, are loath to pass another giant relief bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would vote next week on relief measures totalling more than $500 billion to target specific areas of need. Democrats have rejected so-called skinny bills with pared-down funding saying much more is needed.
After Mnuchin said last week the White House broadly accepted Democrats’’ language on testing, it was clear the devil was in the details.
Pelosi said on ABC that, “They took out 55% of the language that we had there for testing and tracing. And the tracing part is so important because communities of colour had been disproportionately affected by this.”
She added, “We don’t have agreement on the language yet. But I am hopeful.”