Pelosi Doubles Down On $2.2 Trillion Stimulus Compromise: ‘It’s Hard To See How We Can Go Any Lower’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday doubled down on her insistence on a comprehensive stimulus package worth at least $2.2 trillion, telling reporters that “it’s hard to see how we can go any lower.”
Her comments came the day after her first conversation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been leading stimulus negotiations on behalf of the White House, in more than two weeks, the Washington Post reported.
President Trump also jumped back into the stimulus fray on Wednesday, unexpectedly and publicly pushing Republicans to accept a more expensive bill—including another round of stimulus checks—because he “want[s] to see people get money,” he said at a press briefing.
That would be a major reversal for the Senate GOP, which has spent the last six months insisting on a smaller, targeted package worth no more than $1 trillion, which Senate Majority Whip John Thune has said was already too pricey for some Republicans.
The most recent GOP offering (which failed in the Senate last week) included just $300 billion in new spending, while House Democrats led by Pelosi have continued to advocate for the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act, which passed the House in May but was never taken up by the Senate.
Trump said Wednesday that he supports “a lot” of a $1.5 trillion new framework released this week from the Problem Solvers Caucus in a bid for compromise, though the White House said it didn’t support a provision in that proposal that would allocate another $500 billion in aid to state and local government.
“When we go into negotiation, it’s about the allocation of the resources,” Pelosi said Thursday in response to a question about her $2.2 trillion floor in negotiations, “but it’s hard to see how we can go any lower when you only have greater needs.” The Speaker acknowledged that because of the way the pandemic has changed over the last several months, the money in the $2.2 trillion compromise may now need to be distributed differently.
Pelosi faced some pushback from vulnerable House Democrats who were uneasy about the lack of action in Washington in the weeks leading up to the November election, and this week reassured her caucus that the House would remain in session until a deal on the next stimulus bill is reached. That doesn’t mean that House lawmakers must physically remain in Washington, however—they’ll be able to return home and be recalled to the Capitol for a vote if necessary.
Some Republicans were quick to point out that despite President Trump’s support for parts of the $1.5 trillion proposed compromise, the price tag is simply too high for many in the GOP to accept. “As you go upward from there [$1 trillion] ,you start losing Republican support pretty quickly,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said that she would be “hesitant to make a commitment about a level that is that high,” CNN reported. Sen. Thune also echoed the White House’s concern about the $500 billion in state and local aid contained in that plan, suggesting that the provision would likely be a “nonstarter.”
Trump Wants Republicans To Make A Deal On Stimulus, Slams ‘Heartless’ Democrats For Delay (Forbes)
As Stimulus Pressure Mounts, Pelosi Reassures House Democrats They’ll Remain In Washington Until There’s A Deal (Forbes)
Here’s How The Long-Shot Bipartisan Relief Proposal Would Put Your Third Stimulus Check On Auto-Pilot (Forbes)
A Bipartisan Stimulus Plan—Including More Checks—Is Coming. Will It Break The Stalemate? (Forbes)