Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he believes Congress will be able to pass a stimulus package at the start of 2021, which differs from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said that she wants a deal sooner than that.
“We could target it particularly at small businesses that are struggling, and hospitals that are now dealing with the second wave of the coronavirus, and of course the challenges for education, both K-12 and college,” he added.
On Thursday, Pelosi said she expects to reach an agreement with the Trump administration in the lame-duck session of Congress following the Nov. 3 election.
“I want a bill for two reasons. First and foremost, the American people need help. They need real help. And, second of all, we have plenty of work to do in the Joe Biden administration,” Pelosi said, suggesting Democratic nominee Joe Biden would win.
It came after Pelosi sent Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin a letter that faulted Republicans for the failed talks. President Donald Trump last week said that it is Pelosi who is holding up the negotiations, arguing that a stimulus package would be beneficial to his reelection prospects.
Mnuchin shot back that Pelosi’s letter was a “political stunt” for the media’s benefit. He said in a response letter that Pelosi’s “ALL OR NONE approach is hurting hard-working families NOW” by holding up more narrowly targeted legislation that could pass with little controversy.
Republicans, who say Pelosi has been unyielding in the talks, will control the White House and the Senate until January regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s election, and have pressed for a more targeted aid package that ignores key Pelosi demands.
The winner of the Nov. 3 presidential elections will be sworn in as the next president on Jan. 20, 2021.