Pelosi Says Pandemic Deal on Horizon, but Timing Still Not Clear

October 21, 2020 Updated: October 21, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said a CCP virus relief deal is nearing and could be finished by the end of this week, although the timing is still not clear.

“I’m pretty happy,” Pelosi said of her ongoing discussions with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a televised interview on Wednesday, adding that she believes there is “a prospect for an agreement.”

The House speaker didn’t elaborate on the nature of the agreement or what provisions would be contained.

Pelosi, who added she was scheduled to continue talks with Mnuchin at 2:30 p.m. local time, said that she wanted the bill to be passed by Nov. 1. However, she said that it would possibly include retroactive aid if it is approved after Election Day on Nov. 3

In the interview, she again said that the legislation’s text would have to be completed by the end of the week.

“I’m optimistic that there will be a bill,” Pelosi said. “It’s a question of is it in time to pay the November rent, which is my goal, or is it going to be shortly thereafter and retroactive?”

On Oct. 17, her office set a 48-hour deadline for the Trump administration to come to terms with an agreement to draft the final language for a bill. But later, she said that the White House made concessions to Democrats on a variety of measures, including tracing and testing.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News the administration hopes to “get some kind of deal in the next 48 hours or so.”

“The last 24 hours have moved the ball down the field,” Meadows said on Fox News on Wednesday morning, following talks between the Treasury secretary and speaker.

Republicans and Democrats mostly agree that another stimulus measure is necessary to boost the economy following months of pandemic-induced lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. The two sides have disagreed over the size of the bill and what measures to include, including aid to state and local governments, the amount federal unemployment benefits should be, and more.

Republicans in the Senate, however, have different priorities and are slated to vote on their own, smaller package Wednesday. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) came forward on Tuesday and said he would not vote on anything around $1.8 trillion, which is being proposed by the White House. Pelosi has proposed a $2.2 trillion deal.

Republicans are slated to vote on a smaller package on Wednesday.

“If a presidentially-supported bill clears the House at some point we’ll bring it to the floor,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters during a news conference on Tuesday.