No Second Stimulus Deal Today: House Democrats Move To Vote On Their Own Bill, McConnell Throws Cold Water On Talks
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did not reach a deal on the next round of federal coronavirus stimulus legislation with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday afternoon after presenting her with the administration’s latest proposal—that means that House Democrats will move forward with a vote on their own revised stimulus proposal tonight, without any GOP support.
Mnuchin reportedly offered Pelosi a counter to the $2.2 trillion revised proposal released by House Democrats late Monday worth about $1.5 trillion, Politico reported.
Mnuchin’s offer reportedly contained “escalator” provisions that could bring its total cost up to about $2 trillion.
That would have narrowed the gap between top Democrats and the White House by a significant margin, but even the low end of $1.5 trillion is significantly higher than the maximum new spending the GOP has said it will support.
During the meeting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters that negotiators remain “very, very far apart,” Reuters reported.
Even though Mnuchin and Pelosi are having their first in-person meeting in two weeks, there’s no guarantee that they’ll reach a deal before November’s election.
And even if they do reach a deal, the measure they agree on will have to pass both the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate, which has so far been generally opposed to big spending in the next bill, with Republicans’ latest stimulus proposal containing just $300 billion in new money.
“Today, Secretary Mnuchin and I had an extensive conversation and we found areas where we are seeking further clarification,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Our conversation will continue.”
At a conference sponsored by CNBC on Wednesday morning, Mnuchin was optimistic about the prospect of a deal in the next two days, nothing that while Democrats and Republicans disagree about the “size and scope” of the bill’s provisions, there is general agreement on both sides of the aisle regarding which provisions should be included. Mnuchin said lawmakers agree on the need for an extension of the popular Paycheck Protection Program, funding for schools, and more stimulus checks, among other things. The major outstanding sticking points are more aid for state and local governments (a Democratic priority) and liability protections for businesses and schools (a Republican priority).
What To Watch For
The House will vote tonight on the updated $2.2 trillion Heroes Act, Pelosi said Wednesday—without a bipartisan agreement. Even if it passes, however, the bill won’t become law without the support of Republicans in the Senate.
Mnuchin Will Present Pelosi With Second Stimulus Offer Today (Forbes)
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)