House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said that by the end of Tuesday, she hopes to decide whether to make a deal on what could be a trillion-dollar COVID-19 stimulus bill before the election as the Senate moves to vote on a second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll during the pandemic.
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for almost an hour in a call on Monday afternoon where they "continued to narrow their differences," Pelosi’s chief of staff Drew Hammill said Monday.
"The Speaker has tasked committee chairs to reconcile differences with their GOP counterparts on key areas," Hammill added.
“Nobody thinks this $500B+ proposal would resolve every problem forever. It would deliver huge amounts of additional help to workers and families right now while Washington keeps arguing over the rest,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement on Saturday. “It is heartless for Democrats to continue their total blockade of any aid whatsoever unless Speaker Pelosi gets her way on countless non-COVID-related demands.”
With some Senate Republicans opposed to passing the larger stimulus bill proposed by Trump, the president on Monday indicated that he might intervene if they didn't pass a second stimulus package.
Over the past several months, Pelosi, Senate Republicans, and the Trump administration have blamed one another for failing to come to an agreement on stimulus legislation amid the pandemic.
"I think even if we gave her the money for the poorly run Democrat states, I don’t think she’d approve it anyway," he said, adding, that Pelosi wants to hold up the deal “until after the election, and I think it’s bad for the Democrats.”
White House press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has accused Pelosi of "not being serious" regarding the Democrats $2.2 trillion bill.
Pelosi in a letter to Democratic colleagues released Sunday said that she is "optimistic" that an agreement can be reached before the election. She noted that Democrats still do not want to accept the White House's language and measures proposed with regard to how much funding to provide to state and local governments; whether to commit to a "science-based national plan" for testing, tracing, and treatment with regard to COVID-19; and whether to expand the Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
"To that end, we are writing language as we negotiate the priorities, so that we are fully prepared to move forward once we reach agreement," she said.