Pelosi Downplays Talk of White House Stimulus Compromise: ‘Keep Moving the Goal Post’

October 25, 2020 Updated: October 25, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) implied on Oct. 25 that stimulus talks between Democrats and the White House haven’t progressed—coming after a week of positive developments before Election Day.

Speaking on CNN, Pelosi said the Trump administration hasn’t come closer to meeting Democrats’ demands.

“They haven’t yet,” she said of administration officials. “They keep moving the goal post.”

Pelosi said she expects Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to respond on Oct. 26 to a list of concerns that she sent to him on Oct. 23.

When pressed about whether a stimulus deal could be done by Election Day, Pelosi demurred.

“I’ll never give up hope,” she said. “I’m optimistic. We put pen to paper and have been writing the bill based on what we hope will be the outcome, what they said they would get back to us on.”

Pelosi noted that Congress and the White House needs to act quickly to combat the lingering U.S. economic downturn.

“To do anything though that does not crush the virus is really official malfeasance,” she said. “And to crush the virus we just have to follow the science: Testing, tracing, treatment, mask-wearing, ventilation, separation, and the rest.”

Mnuchin, too, told reporters over the weekend that he’s hopeful for a deal with Democrats, but he said Pelosi isn’t willing to compromise.

“We’ve offered compromises. The speaker on a number of issues has still dug in. If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal,” Mnuchin said. “We’ve made lots of progress in lots of areas but there’s still some significant differences that we’re working on.”

When President Donald Trump was asked during the final debate with former Vice President Joe Biden about a stimulus deal, he said Pelosi is the one who’s holding it up.

He said she doesn’t want a stimulus package approved—which would include relief payments, more unemployment benefits, and small-business loans—because it’s too close to Election Day and would benefit him politically.

“I actually think Nancy would rather wait until after the election. She thinks it’s a good point for the election but I think it’s against her because the American people know it’s her that’s stopping the money going to them,” Trump said on Oct. 23. “I’d like to see the people get the money. I don’t think she wants the people to get the money before the election.”

Last week, Pelosi and Mnuchin both signaled optimism after daily talks over the phone.