House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that another stimulus package hinges on approval from President Donald Trump. Pelosi had set deadline to reach a deal this week, but her office said her staff and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's staff plan to work over the weekend. Earlier this week, Pelosi said the two sides were "just about there."
"The biggest step forward ... in the negotiations is I think they're about to embrace the science in a substantial way," Pelosi said on MSNBC Friday. "That also addresses the fact that more people in the minority community have died from this COVID-19 than in the white community." She went on to site statistics that show how Black and Hispanic children have a greater chance of being hospitalized due to the virus than a white child.
"The biggest step forward ... in the negotiations is I think they're about to embrace the science in a substantial way," Speaker Pelosi says about reaching a bipartisan relief bill. pic.twitter.com/5BRzn3GBMi— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 23, 2020
There are still some differences between the two sides, but Pelosi said they are writing up the bill and she was hopeful they could "resolve" some of the differences. "We could do that before the election if the president wants to," Pelosi said. "I think he does. I know we do. But we want this to be a bipartisan bill... the next bill to come to the floor, one that removes all doubt that it would become the law."
Pelosi still had some criticism for Trump though, calling him "delusional" for thinking the country has "turned the corner" on the virus. "We haven't. We have miles to go," she said. The U.S. is experiencing another rise in cases across the country, with Friday breaking another record for confirmed daily cases, reports The New York Times. By the end of the day, more than 82,000 cases were reported, breaking the single-day record set in July by over 6,000 cases. Thirteen states saw more new cases in the past week than in any previous seven-day stretch.
Back on Wednesday, Pelosi said she and Mnuchin were "just about there" on reaching a deal, but there were still some differences over funding for state and local governments and liability protections for businesses. Pelosi had set a deadline to reach a deal this week and while that has passed, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said she "remains hopeful" she can reach a deal with the White House soon. She remains in "close contact" with Mnuchin.
The issue at the moment is that Pelosi and Mnuchin's talks only involve two-thirds of the parties that need to be involved for a law to pass. Senate Republicans have shown an unwillingness to work on a stimulus package over $1 trillion. During the week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought up a "skinny" $500 billion package for a vote, but it was blocked in a party-line vote.
The White House and Pelosi agree that a new package should include another stimulus check. The CARES Act included a one-time $1,200 payment, which Americans began receiving in the spring. Pelosi and Mnuchin's proposals include another $1,200 payment for individuals. The two sides differ on federal unemployment insurance though, as Democrats are calling for reviving the $600-per-week program that expired in July. The White House wants a $400-per-week program.