Schumer's Dems Block Senate Corona Relief Bill As Pelosi, Mnuchin Talks Trickle On

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 21 October 2020 23:00

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are “on a path” to a huge coronavirus relief deal, boosting hopes that Democrats can come to a broad settlement with the White House in the coming days.

Pelosi and Mnuchin intend to speak again Wednesday after a productive, 45-minute call on Tuesday afternoon. Though a deal was not reached by her self-imposed Tuesday night deadline, enough progress was made that both sides seemed like conversations should proceed, with Washington still expecting to see whether months of negotiations between the two will culminate in a multitrillion-dollar stimulus plan just two weeks before the presidential election.

"Today’s deadline enabled the Speaker and Secretary to see that decisions could be reached and language could be exchanged, demonstrating that both sides are serious about finding a compromise," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said of the Tuesday call, remarking that the two sides are getting "closer to an agreement."

Yet, the California Democrat's most challenging obstacle may be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) who is privately forcing the White House not to settle with Pelosi before the election.

Pelosi claims she and Mnuchin have made notable progress in some key areas, including on provisions outlining a national coronavirus testing and tracing plan — a key factor for Democrats that seemed to be derailed over the weekend when the two sides couldn’t settle on the legislative text. Pelosi described the GOP stance as "a change from over the weekend."

Though, key obstacles remain, including debates over one of the Democrats' top priorities — funding for state and local governments — and liability protections for businesses and schools that Republicans have long required.

There are also smaller notable disagreements on language related to vaccines, health care worker protections, and the child tax credit.

“The two bookends of our differences right now… one is state and local and the other is liability,” Pelosi said.

Trump said on Tuesday that McConnell “will be on board if something comes.”

Trump then went on to call for a stimulus package that’s even more expensive than the $2.2 trillion Democrats want — though the GOP has shown no interest in paying more than Democrats after months of talks.

“I want to do it even bigger than the Democrats. And not every Republican agrees with me, but they will,” Trump said, adding that Pelosi does not want to get a deal, despite weeks of long talks with Mnuchin.

“Here's the problem, she doesn't want to do anything until after the election because she thinks that helps her,” Trump explained. “I actually think it helps us, because everyone knows that she's the one that's breaking up the deal. Now, they are talking. Let's see what happens.”

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