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Still No Deal On Second Stimulus As Early Optimism Wanes


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin struggled to reach an agreement on the next round of federal coronavirus aid on Thursday afternoon as major points of disagreement between the two sides—on state and local aid and potential tax changes, among other provisions—continued to snarl negotiations. 

Key Facts

On Wednesday, Mnuchin presented Pelosi with a $1.6 trillion counter-offer to the $2.2 trillion proposal released late Monday by House Democrats. 

The White House’s offer included $250 billion in new aid for state and local governments, $400 weekly federal unemployment benefits, $75 billion in funding for Covid-19 testing and tracing, and another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, according to exclusive reporting by Roll Call. 

During a call with Democrats on Thursday, Pelosi was “pessimistic” about the prospects of the deal in the near future, Politico reported, but on Bloomberg News later in the day, Pelosi disputed the characterization that she was skeptical about an agreement and instead said that she is “hopeful.”

Despite that hope, however, Pelosi cited some major differences between the White House and her Democratic caucus that are holding up an agreement, chief among them the size of the White House’s Wednesday offer, which she believes is far too small (the Speaker called it the “heel of the loaf”).

Pelosi and the White House are also at odds over the details of several potential tax changes, including to the Child Income Tax Credit.  

Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke by phone again Thursday afternoon for nearly and hour, and a spokesman for Pelosi has said that the conversation will continue later on in the day. 

Chief Critic

“Nancy Pelosi is not being serious. If she becomes serious then we can have a discussion,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a press briefing on Thursday. The White House’s $1.6 trillion plan is a “good offer,” McEnany said, “but it’s one Nancy Pelosi is not interested in.”

Key Background

Pelosi on Wednesday delayed a vote in the House on the Democrat’s $2.2 trillion plan, which is a pared-down version of the Heroes Act from May and lacks significant support from the GOP. As of early Thursday, the House was planning to move forward with a vote on the package. 

Further Reading

Stimulus Update: Mnuchin Says Next Bill To Include $1,200 Checks ‘If There Is A Deal,’ Offers Pelosi $1.6 Trillion (Forbes)

No Second Stimulus Deal Today: House Democrats Move To Vote On Their Own Bill, McConnell Throws Cold Water On Talks (Forbes)

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)

Source: Forbes – Money

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