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Politics Pelosi-Mnuchin Stimulus Buzz Masks Deep Divide to Getting a Deal

12:41  25 september  2020
12:41  25 september  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin continue to express their desire for a bipartisan deal on stimulus , but the Democratic figurehead said talks continue to expose differences between the two sides. The pair spoke over the phone Tuesday in a bid to bridge their

Pelosi and Mnuchin , along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said they expect to meet Monday to resume discussions. Asked on Sunday by ABC's Martha Raddatz on "This Week" when negotiators could potentially have a deal , Pelosi said, "We'll be

(Bloomberg) -- A last-ditch attempt by Democrats and the White House to restart negotiations on a new stimulus drew skepticism in Congress that a deal could be reached and written into law by Election Day.

Both sides had largely given up on stimulus talks after a weeks-long stalemate, even amid signs of strain in financial markets. But Thursday brought a flurry of activity that suggested movement on virus relief efforts as the clock runs out for Congress.

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Mnuchin and Pelosi say Covid-19 relief negotiations are back in motion. Pelosi echoed Mnuchin ’s sentiment to reporters, saying negotiations with the White House will resume soon However, he was careful not to get caught in Congress’ crosshairs over how much relief should be provided, and what

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi directed a committee to draft a new coronavirus relief bill estimated to come in at .2 trillion. It is unclear whether it will include a second stimulus check, extra federal unemployment benefits, or state aid.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed willingness Thursday to resume talks that broke off in August. Separately, House Democrats started work on what would be a roughly $2.4 trillion stimulus proposal that they could take into negotiations.

Nancy Pelosi wearing a neck tie: House Speaker Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference © Bloomberg House Speaker Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference

Nancy Pelosi speaks in Washinton, D.C., on Sept. 24.

Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

The new Democratic plan is roughly in line with the last offer made by Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, which the administration rejected. Smaller than the $3.4 trillion package the House passed in May, it’s still more than the $1.5 trillion President Donald Trump has indicated he would accept, and much bigger than the $650 billion in new spending supported by Senate Republicans.

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Mnuchin was clear Thursday night that Trump wants a deal . The President called Mnuchin and Meadows three times during their meeting with Democrats have largely been blaming Meadows for not being able to get over the first, major difference. For the first time in his career, Meadows -- known

Mnuchin said he and Pelosi agreed to resume negotiationsCredit: Alamy Live News. Pelosi has countered that the president just wants to send out another round of checks with his name on them, and that there are other priorities to focus on to get a package approved.

Texas Representative Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the tax writing committee, called the move to draft a Democrat-only bill “a waste of time.”

No Closer

“It doesn’t get us an inch closer,” Brady said.

Even if a deal can’t be done by Election Day, some Democrats held out hope of passing a stimulus bill during the lame-duck session after the election, arguing that if Republicans lose control of the Senate they may be less concerned about winning the political argument about holding the line on spending.

Word from Pelosi and Mnuchin that they were willing to talk provided a brief boost to markets in the middle of the session Thursday. Yet the S&P 500 Index pared most of its advance as it became clear the two sides remained far apart on the size of stimulus needed.

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The Democratic plan adds to the previous $2.2 trillion Pelosi-Schumer plan, with help for the U.S. airline industry to avert massive job losses -- which could start Oct. 1, when restrictions expire from a prior round of federal assistance. Also included is small-business aid and a bailout for restaurants.

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Trump says schumer, pelosi 'Want to make a deal ' on coronavirus relief. The 0 payment to unemployed Americans came as Republicans on Capitol Hill argued that the initial unemployment insurance program disincentivized Americans to get back to work, with many

After Mnuchin and several White House officials arrived on Capitol Hill to meet with Schumer and wrap up the outstanding issues, Schumer said on the floor that there are a few outstanding issues that could be smoothed over "within the next few hours." "Last night, I thought we're on the 5-yard line.

Although some Democrats portrayed it as an opening to an eventual deal, members of both parties were pessimistic as the legislative clock ticks down. The Senate is planning to leave Washington for a month of campaigning after work next week, with the possible exception of a vote on a Supreme Court nomination. The House is also planning to leave, and be on standby for members to return in case of a stimulus vote.

“I would say right now we are in a difficult spot as far as getting something done,” Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican, said.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland said, “I don’t think we are going to get it done before whatever break we have before the elections.” Republicans are “underestimating” the danger to the economy and are unlikely to accept a significant stimulus, he added.

Economy Warnings

Lawmakers and the White House have had plenty of warnings about what a failure to act might mean to the U.S. Economy.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance remained at a level above the peak during the Great Recession of 2007-09, the latest weekly data showed on Thursday.

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Pelosi , Mnuchin express willingness to resume stimulus talks. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin each raised the prospect of resuming negotiations on a stimulus Lawmakers on both sides remained skeptical a deal could be had before the Nov. 3 election. “I don’t think we are going to get it done before whatever break we have before the elections,” Democratic Senator Ben

How exactly a deal gets done remains unclear, however. Pelosi has said that Democrats are holding out for a larger stimulus deal and refuse to pass legislation on a Larry Kudlow, Direct of the National Economic Council, somewhat contradicted Mnuchin and Powell on the need for fiscal stimulus .

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated his conclusion that “it’s likely that additional fiscal support will be needed,” speaking at a Senate panel where Mnuchin was also testifying Thursday.

The recovery has been faster than anticipated so far, Powell said, thanks to income support to those affected by the pandemic.

House Vote

“The risk is that they’ll go through that money, ultimately, and have to cut back on spending and maybe lose their home,” the Fed chief said. “That’s the downside risk of no further action.”

The Democratic plan could get a vote next week, though officials said no decisions have been on whether to bring it to the floor.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Thursday that the main focus remains on getting a deal with Mnuchin and the Senate before Congress is adjourned.

“A message bill is one thing but we want to get something signed so people get money,” he said.

Pelosi has been under pressure for weeks to come up with another stimulus plan from restive House Democrats facing reelection in closely divided districts. About a dozen moderate Democrats this week began threatening to mutiny and back a Republican procedural move to force a House floor vote on small-business relief.

Democratic Representatives Josh Gottheimer, Dean Phillips and Abigail Spanberger, who all represent swing districts, were seeking signatures on a letter to leadership opposing the Republican discharge petition but stating “it is essential that we send the Senate a compromise bill before the election that is reasonable and that can be signed into law by the president of the United States.”

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