At least they are talking. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made progress on the latest coronavirus stimulus talks. In a phone call that lasted about an hour, the two negotiators “continued to narrow their differences,” according to Pelosi’s spokesperson, Drew Hammill.
“The Speaker continues to hope that, by the end of the day Tuesday, we will have clarity on whether we will be able to pass a bill before the election,” Hammill added. There are a lot more elements to this bill than simply a new round of stimulus checks for taxpayers. Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats Sunday saying, “We are writing (legislative) language,” as talks continue, “so that we are fully prepared to move forward once we reach agreement.”
Some of the highlights of the bill that the two sides are having issues with include a national testing strategy, state and local government relief, tax expansion, child-care provisions and support for the U.S. Census.
There are obstacles that linger, however. Senate Republicans potentially could pose an obstacle in the passing of the bill, as most GOP senators have backed only limited new spending.
The two sides are close when it comes to the actual amount of the bill. House Democrats recently passed a $2.2 trillion bill, while the White House has put its blessing to a proposal that amounts to nearly $1.9 trillion.
Pelosi set a 48-hour deadline Sunday to get a deal done, and both sides have vowed to work around the clock to get it figured out.