Mnuchin Will Present Pelosi With Second Stimulus Offer Today
Ahead of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed optimism that the White House will be able to reach an agreement with top Democrats on the next round of federal coronavirus aid legislation and said he’ll know whether a stimulus deal before the election is possible “in the next day or two.”
Mnuchin and Pelosi resumed stimulus talks this week after failing to reach an agreement on the next round of federal coronavirus aid this summer.
Speaking at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference on Wednesday morning, Mnuchin said he is hopeful that he can come to an understanding on an overall stimulus package “by tomorrow” with Pelosi.
After a 50-minute conversation on Tuesday about the $2.2 trillion proposal released by House Democrats this week, Mnuchin said he expects to return to Pelosi today with a “very reasonable response” similar to the plan outlined by the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus earlier this month (Pelosi rejected that plan when it was released because it was too small, and the White House took issue with its state and local aid provision).
Mnuchin indicated that the White House would stick to an offer “close to a trillion and a half dollars”—significantly less than what Democrats proposed this week and significantly higher than what the Senate GOP has so far been willing to support.
Mnuchin appeared optimistic that two major sticking points between the parties—more state and local aid, which Democrats want, and liability protections for businesses and schools, which Republicans want—could be resolved and accounted for in a single package.
He also noted that while both sides of the aisle agree on many of the policy proposals that should be in the future bill—like an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program, money for schools, more stimulus checks and back-to-work and employee retention tax credits—the main sticking point has been the “size and scope” of those policies.
What To Watch For
According to Politico’s Jake Sherman, Mnuchin is scheduled to meet Pelosi in Washington on Wednesday afternoon to present the Speaker with the White House’s proposal.
“We’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done,” Mnuchin said. “I think there’s a reasonable compromise here.”
On Monday evening, House Democrats released a smaller version of the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act they passed in May. The revised bill is worth $2.2 trillion, and was intended as a “proffer” to bring Republicans and the White House back to the negotiating table after months of inaction, Democrats said. In case there’s no agreement, however, Democrats are preparing the $2.2 trillion plan for a vote in the House this week, which would allow vulnerable incumbents to publicly support more aid before they return to their districts next week to campaign.
Mnuchin And Pelosi Talk Stimulus For Nearly An Hour—Could A Deal And A Second Round Of $1,200 Checks Be On The Way? (Forbes)
Democrats Release Smaller $2.2 Trillion Stimulus Proposal In Final Bid For Compromise Before Election Day (Forbes)
Stimulus Update: House Democrats Considering New, Smaller Relief Package (Forbes)
Stimulus Bill Before Election Day? Unlikely, Wall Street Says (Forbes)