“Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to approve anything, because she’d love to have some victories on November 3rd,” Trump said on Thursday night, adding that she doesn’t actually want the deal “because it’s near the election.”
He again argued that House Democrats’ bill was “a bailout for badly run high crime” areas that are “all run by democrat cities and states.”
But Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that he would go along with supporting the $3.3 trillion Democrat-backed HEROES Act, first passed in May. Senate Republicans have unilaterally rejected the bill, saying it has too many non-COVID-19 provisions while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has described it as a “socialist manifesto.”
“We should be bailing [small businesses] out now, small businesses and schools need the help, these guys are not helping them,” Biden said.
The former vice president then accused McConnell of holding up the deal, rather than Pelosi.
Over the past several months, talks between the White House and top Democrats have been mostly stalled.
Pelosi, meanwhile, said earlier on Thursday that Pelosi and Trump are coming closer to a deal. Republicans in the Senate are in favor of the liability protections, while Democrats have sought billions of dollars in funding for states and cities. Republicans in the Senate have balked at a multi-trillion-dollar package.
“I am hopeful that we will be able to reach agreement,” she said, adding that there’s been progress in recent days.
“I do believe that both sides want to reach an agreement. I can’t answer for the disarray from the Senate on the other side,” Pelosi said at a news conference. “We’re not going to make the world straight in this bill, but we’re going to finally, finally, take steps to crush the virus.”
However, Trump’s economic advisor Larry Kudlow said hours later that there are still “significant policy differences.”
“There are still significant policy differences between the two teams, and those two policy differences have not yet been resolved,” Kudlow said Thursday on Fox Business.
While he didn’t specifically make that prediction, he said, “At some point you gotta ask yourself: Just to get legislative agreements and votes in two houses and committee print, that takes time. We’ve got like 12 days left.” “The clock is ticking,” Kudlow added.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have sharply disagreed over the size and scope of another pandemic bill, with the two parties attempting to frame it as what role the government should play in economic recovery. Republicans in the Senate have said Democrats’ proposals since May contain far-left provisions, while Democrats have repeatedly said that the GOP isn’t doing enough and is fractured.