Pelosi says 'just about there' on USA stimulus; Senate hurdle awaits

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi D-Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday Oct. 22 2020

A new wrinkle: With many Senate Republicans opposed to relief spending along the lines of the roughly $2 trillion package being negotiated, some House Democrats have reportedly told Pelosi that they don't want to vote on legislation before the election unless she gets assurances that the Senate will as well.

The House Democrats had passed a $ 3 billion bill back in May, and another smaller version worth $ 2.2 billion last month - both dismissed as excessive by the Republicans and the White House. That's the number needed to vote with Democrats and get a bill on the Senate floor. "We've offered compromises", he said.

President Donald Trump said Pelosi "would rather wait till after the election - she thinks it's a good point for the election".

"It could happen this week in the House", Pelosi said on "State of the Union".

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted that Trump would be able to persuade Senate Republicans to back a compromise deal, even though GOP leaders in the chamber have said there isn't support for a package of the size being talked about in the negotiations. Aides to the relevant committees say that there is little they can do until they get clearer guidance from Pelosi and Mnuchin however.

"The ball's not moving much right now", White House economic director Larry Kudlow said on Bloomberg Television.

Talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin have been at a standstill over the past day and a half.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday that he hoped for a deal on a new coronavirus stimulus bill this week. Meadows spoke to Fox News after lunching with Republican senators, who he said were concerned about the policy as well as the cost of a new package. "What I see is American, United States".

"Pelosi is proposing a $US2.2 trillion package, while the Trump administration is offering $US1.88 trillion â€" though Trump has said he'd like an even bigger deal than what Pelosi has offered. I think we have a prospect for an agreement.

Other Republicans continued to express concern about the proposals under discussion. He echoed Mnuchin, who said she was "dug in", a remark likely echoed on the other side of the table. "We wouldn't take less of a bill to get it sooner".

The wrangling on Capitol Hill comes amid a backdrop of deepening misery for tens of millions of Americans as the coronavirus continues to spread and the economic collapse brought on by the pandemic-as well as lawmakers' refusal to take sufficient action in response-shows no sign of letting up, with layoffs at their highest level since August and hunger still on the rise.

But Democrats seem just as determined not to go along with targeted aid proposals when a larger comprehensive deal appears in reach.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) accused McConnell of playing "games" by putting forth an "emaciated" bill, and claimed it failed "because it leaves so many Americans behind".

Congress has been in stasis since May when House Democrats passed their $3.3 trillion Heroes Act, which included nearly $1 trillion in funding for state and local governments and would have extended the $600-per-week federal boost in unemployment payments to January 2021.



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