House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 48-hour deadline for a stimulus deal has nearly arrived, begging the question, what happens now? Pelosi set the deadline over the weekend, giving herself and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin until the end of the day Tuesday to reach a compromise on a stimulus bill that could be considered before the Nov. 3 election, though many Americans have been left wondering what happens once that deadline is up.
According to The New York Times, should Pelosi and Mnuchin strike a deal by the end of the day, the agreed-upon bill would then begin to work its way through both chambers of Congress – the House of Representatives and the Senate. Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell previously stated his opposition to such a bill, he has since conceded, confirming that the chamber would consider it in a vote. After being passed by both the House and the Senate, the bill would then move to the president's desk, where it would need a signature before the provisions could be put into practice and relief aid could be made available.
However, the outlet also notes that such a scenario seems unlikely. While McConnell has since given ground and is at least partially willing to bring an agreement to the Senate for a vote, the odds of Pelosi and Mnuchin reaching a deal within the next few hours remains a long shot. This is largely due to Democrats and the Trump administration remaining at odds on a number of key issues and funding levels, notably the language surrounding a provision targeting coronavirus testing and contact tracing. Although Pelosi, speaking on The Reid Out Monday, indicated that they were closed to reconciling this key differences, she acknowledged that "we have different values, and therefore it's a longer road back for them to do the right thing."
Should these issues lead to the 48-hour deadline expiring and a deal remaining elusive, Pelosi's office confirmed to CNN that this would not mark the end of relief talks or the hope for additional legislation. Rather, Pelosi and Mnuchin would continue their negotiations, though a stimulus bill would not be approved until sometime after the election. This is due to the legislative process, as it would take some time for legislation to pass through before making its way to the president's desk for a signature.
Despite their remaining differences, Pelosi has expressed hope that she and Mnuchin will successfully strike a deal. Announcing the deadline Sunday, she said that she was "optimistic," and her deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, has since revealed that the two have "continued to narrow their differences." By Monday night, key differences remain funding for state and local governments, support for restaurants, and additional health provisions, according to a person on a call with Pelosi.