Pelosi, Mnuchin failed to strike coronovirus stimulation agreement but negotiations will continue

The two sat in a meeting for about 90 minutes on Wednesday.

But House Democratic leaders are still expecting a bipartisan deal and they delayed a planned vote on their $ 2.2 trillion stimulus bill on Thursday. House Democrats initially planned to vote on the bill late Wednesday night, but pushed negotiators Thursday to talk further, according to a senior Democratic aide familiar with the negotiations.

The Democratic epidemic relief bill – largely symbolic – is a diluted version of the $ 3.4 trillion Heroes Act, which was passed in May.

The bill is expected to sweep the lower house, but it is not expected to be taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate, ridiculed at the high price tag.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell clarified that the path to a bipartisan pandemic relief deal is unlikely to go ahead of Election Day, saying on Wednesday, “We are far, far away.”

Mnuchin told reporters on Wednesday, “We have made a lot of progress in the last few days, yet there is no agreement between us, but we have more work to do.

In the negotiations between the White House and Pelosi, Mnuchin took over as chief negotiator. The two sat in the Capitol Hill office for a nearly 90-minute meeting on Wednesday – their first in-person discussion since bipartisan talks in early August.

Mnuchin brought in a counteroffensive for Pelosi that resembled the profile that the Bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus put out earlier this month, with a price tag of about $ 1.5 trillion.

Pelosi and several House committee leaders rejected the plan, arguing that “what is needed to save lives and boost the economy falls short.”

Pelosi said in a statement issued by his office, “Today, there was a wide-ranging conversation between Secretary Munnuchin and me and we explored areas where we are seeking further clarification. Our conversation will continue.”

“We will take action with our heroes tonight on the updated Hero Act, so that the Republicans can benefit from us in negotiations to end the health and economic devastation in our country,” the statement said. That vote was delayed on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, both Pelosi and Mnuchin seemed more optimistic about the prospect of reaching an agreement between the tanking economy and unemployed numbers that are skyrocketing.

Sources involved with the talks said that the biggest hang ups involved local and state governments as well as liability protection.

The passage of the bill is expected to restore the $ 600 federal unemployment benefit that ends in July, and Americans will receive another round of direct checks at $ 1,200 per taxpayer and $ 500 per dependent.

The bill would also expand the paycheck protection program to help small businesses, a benefit that expired in early August.

The law also includes money for restaurants, airlines, childcare centers and performance venues, heavily affected by the epidemic, as well as funding for the postal service, which Democrats said is needed before Election Day.

McConnell said Wednesday that the $ 2.2 trillion offer from Democrats was “too much” and “outlandish”, indicating he has no intention of supporting it.

While the Senate is not expected to vote on the $ 2.2 trillion stimulus bill, the Chamber is expected to vote Wednesday on a continuing resolution that will fund the government through Dec. 11.

Once the Senate bill is approved, it will be sent to the president’s desk a few hours before the deadline to close at midnight.


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