Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there’s a chance she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin can still reach a deal on a coronavirus stimulus package, and that Democrats will unveil a new “proffer” shortly.
“I trust Secretary Mnuchin to represent something that can reach a solution, and I believe we come to an agreement,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
She added that if a deal isn’t struck soon, Democrats might vote on a House-only version of a coronavirus relief package, including funds for airlines and restaurants, and more Paycheck Protection Program funding.
“The public is going to have to see why $2.2 (trillion), or now $2.4 (trillion), perhaps, is necessary,” she said, adding that President Donald Trump’s “denial of the virus, and resistance to do anything to crush it, has made matters worse.”
Discussion of a potential fresh House vote on stimulus follows weeks of resistance by Pelosi to suggestions from moderate members that Democrats need to show Americans they’ve taken some additional action since passing their Heroes Act in May.
Democrats and the White House will have to pick up the pace to complete a package before the Nov. 3 election after hitting an impasse in early August with the sides far apart.
Recently, Pelosi has insisted that the White House agree to at least $2.2 trillion in new aid, including funds for cash-strapped state and local governments and $600 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits.
Trump has indicated he could support as much as $1.5 trillion in aid, higher than the $650 billion put forth in a “skinny” aid package by Senate Republicans.
Pelosi pushed back on CNN when asked if Democrats might offer to reduce their figure even more. However, she also said the preference is to have an actual deal than simply pass another bill in the House that’s dead on arrival in the Senate.
“I’d rather have a deal that puts money in people’s pockets than to have a rhetorical argument,” said Pelosi. “What we will be putting forth is a proffer to say, now let us negotiate within a time frame and a dollar amount to get the job done.”
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