House Speaker Pelosi Says, ‘There Will Be’ A Stimulus Deal, Either Before Or After The Election, As Democrats Block Another GOP ‘Skinny’ Bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reiterated Wednesday that she expects a comprehensive stimulus package to become law one way or another—either before the November 3 election or “shortly thereafter.”
“I’m pretty happy,” she said of her ongoing discussions with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday, adding that she “think[s] we have a prospect for an agreement.”
Pelosi said she expects to speak with Mnuchin again on Wednesday afternoon.
For the relief package to pass before the November 3 election, Pelosi said on Tuesday, the text of the legislation would need to be finalized by the end of this week.
Reports surfaced this week that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had warned the White House against cutting a sweeping stimulus deal with Pelosi before the election—on the theory that it could jeopardize Senate Republican plans for a speedy confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Pelosi said today in an earlier interview on SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show that it would be “up to the president” to convince McConnell to support a larger deal.
The Majority Leader brought a much smaller plan (worth about $500 billion) to the Senate floor for a vote on Wednesday afternoon, but Democrats blocked it from advancing.
“I’m optimistic that there will be a bill,” Pelosi said. “It’s a question of is it in time to pay the November rent, which is my goal, or is it going to be shortly thereafter and retroactive?”
Over the weekend, Pelosi set a 48-hour deadline for the White House to cement its terms so congressional staff could move ahead on drafting final language for the bill. She noted Wednesday that while the White House has made major concessions to Democrats on the testing and tracing provisions in the final bill, major disagreements still remain on additional aid for state and local governments, liability protections for businesses and additional aid for restaurants and small venues.
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