House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said that she spoke to White House Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday morning and suggested that the conversation boded well for a forthcoming emergency coronavirus relief package, The Hill reported.
“Our conversation was a positive one,” she said during an MSNBC appearance. “We’ll get back together tomorrow to see how we can find common ground.”
A spokesperson for the politician claimed that another discussion is scheduled for Wednesday.
If Democrats and Republicans can’t come to an agreement on the possible aid bundle, Democratic aides told The Hill that lawmakers from the party would likely hold a vote before the weekend. Nevertheless, Pelosi expressed hope for a bipartisan agreement and said her goal is to push through a package to ensure that money is funneled to Americans who are struggling amid the pandemic.
As reported by NPR, Democrats in the House of Representatives unveiled scaled-back COVID-19 legislation on Monday in hopes of striking a deal with Senate Republicans. The $2.2 trillion bundle includes additional unemployment benefits, money for drug development and testing, and small business loans. However, the duration of the help has been reduced to align closer to Republican goals.
Per CNBC, the bill would also include another direct payment of $1,200 per taxpaying American.
Despite Pelosi’s optimism, The Hill noted that Donald Trump’s senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow rejected her offer just moments before her MSNBC interview.
“We don’t think the numbers are right — $2.2 trillion — which is a very big number,” he said on CNBC.
“There’s some leftover spending that’s not included there and some tax cuts that are repealed. It might come to $2.6 trillion.”
Although there is no formal deadline for new coronavirus aid, Pelosi noted that on September 30, airline companies would furlough thousands of their employees due to the expiration of an emergency lifeline they received from a previous coronavirus bill.
“So we want to move quickly on this,” she said.
As The Inquisitr reported, the lower chamber previously passed a package back in May that was rejected by the Republican-led Senate, which proposed its own legislation that was criticized publicly by Pelosi for falling short of Democratic expectations. Per CNBC, the previous formal talks on an aid bill took place between Pelosi, Mnuchin, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, and Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, but broke down on August 7. Although lower chamber Democrats originally proposed $3.4 trillion in COVID-19 relief, Republicans rejected the proposals, which sparked the new scaled-back legislation.