Nearly two months after stimulus relief talks collapsed on Capitol Hill, there is renewed hope that a deal can be struck between the White House and top Democrats. Speaking with MSNBC Monday just after unveiling a new proposal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated her confidence that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be able to find "common ground" as negotiations are soon set to resume.
According to The Hill, during her appearance, Pelosi confirmed that she had spoken with Mnuchin over the weekend regarding restarting negotiations. She did, however, insist that in order to reach a deal, the White House would need to meet her halfway on the price tag of a relief bill. Although the White House has indicated President Donald Trump would support legislation up to $1.5 trillion, still a far cry from what Democrats are seeking, Pelosi said, "I think we can find our common ground." She added, "I'm hopeful. I'm optimistic."
Pelosi's remarks came after both she and Mnuchin indicated over the course of the past several days that they were willing to resume negotiations, which had become deadlocked in late July following the introduction of the HEALS Act. Speaking Thursday, Mnuchin said that after a number of phone conversations, "we've agreed to continue to have discussions." Pelosi, meanwhile, said that she is "hopeful for a deal."
With these talks set to resume, however, there is some hesitance. According to Politico, the House of Representatives could be taking up a vote on a $2.2 trillion HEROES Act 2.0 as early as Wednesday or Thursday of this week if discussions between Pelosi and Mnuchin do not lead to an agreement. In a statement, Pelosi said that this new proposal should Democrats' willingness to compromise on aspects of additional relief, namely the price tag of any additional stimulus bills.
"It has been more than four months since House Democrats sent the GOP Senate $3.4 trillion in desperately needed coronavirus relief grounded in science and data, and Leader McConnell hit the pause button. In our negotiations with the White House since then, Democrats offered to come down a trillion dollars if Republicans would come up a trillion dollars. Then, we offered to come down $200 billion more, even as the health and economic crisis has worsened and the needs have only grown," she said. "Democrats are making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill, which is necessary to address the immediate health and economic crisis facing America's working families right now."
While it remains unclear if Mnuchin and Pelosi will be able to reach a deal – CNN reports that "most on Capitol Hill are deeply skeptical a deal can be reached" – it is unlikely that the HEROES Act 2.0 will gain much fanfare. Although it is almost guaranteed to pass the House, it is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate, where the first HEROES Act was never even brought up for a vote.