Communications director Alyssa Farah told Fox News that the White House is hoping to reach an agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on a package that can be voted on in Congress “within weeks,” although that would likely occur in the lame-duck session after Election Day.
“We are confident that we can get something in the coming weeks,” Farah said when she was asked about whether a deal can be reached following the Senate’s confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Monday night.
Farah did not say when a CCP virus package could be passed after she was asked about whether a deal could be made before the Nov. 3 election.
“We are hoping within weeks. I don’t want to get too ahead of any announcements,” she told the channel, noting that there are still differences between the GOP and House Democrats. She termed some of the provisions floated by Pelosi and other Democrats as “bailouts” for local and state governments.
A spokesman for Pelosi, Drew Hammill, confirmed Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held talks on a stimulus package on Monday afternoon.
He wrote on Twitter that Pelosi “remains optimistic that an agreement can be reached before the election,” although her office is still waiting for the White House to accept their language on a plan for CCP virus testing. He also said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has to agree on the package as well should it reach the Senate.
McConnell earlier this month said that some GOP members may not support a bill worth more than $1.8 trillion, which is what the Trump administration has proposed. Democrats have proposed a $2.2 trillion bill, although President Donald Trump has called on Congress to pass an even larger bill.
President Trump on Tuesday morning said Pelosi and Democrats are “only looking to Bail Out badly run Democrat Cities,” adding they are “Tap, Tap, Taping us along” and have “little interest in helping out the ‘people.'”
Earlier in October, Trump announced on Twitter that he would stop negotiations to have the Senate focus on Barrett’s confirmation. Later, he called for $1,200 stimulus payments and airline funding before directing Mnuchin to again negotiate with Pelosi.
The GOP-held Senate, meanwhile, adjourned until after Election Day following Monday’s vote to confirm Barrett. Last week, GOP senators attempted to advance a $500 billion proposal, but it was blocked by Democrats.