While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued to come short in her negotiations for a second coronavirus relief bill, she said that she is still at the negotiation table with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
In a news conference, Pelosi said, “We’re at the table discussing how we go forward with a possible COVID bill. “We’re hopeful that we can reach agreement because the needs of the American people are so great. But there has to be a recognition that it takes money to do that.”
The House plans to pass their second relief bill, shaving off a trillion for a price tag of $2.2 trillion. This is the chamber’s second attempt to show unity, and force the Senate to take up a bill that will spend much more money than the Republicans want.
While the bill was supposed to receive a vote on Wednesday, Pelosi delayed the vote in order to find some common ground with Mnuchin, and get his support. Pelosi said, “We are not finished. I’m hopeful. But we do come at it from two different places.”
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, has stated he will not consider legislation with such a large amount. He said that the Senate Republicans want to keep the second spending bill around $500 billion. Without McConnell’s approval, the bill will be dead upon arrival in the upper chamber.
Why this matters: While the economy is recovering, the economic devastation from a nationwide shutdown is still hurting many Americans. If Congress fails to pass some sort of relief, it will have a dramatic effect on the upcoming November elections, especially for House and Senate lawmakers. Pelosi, if she wants to keep her majority, is going to have to serious compromise just to get something on the books before November 3rd. While the House already passed a $3.4 trillion dollar bill called the HEROES Act, this is her form of compromising, but she needs at least the White House on her side if she wants to move McConnell on the issue.
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