House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the White House of continuing to move the goalposts when it comes to another stimulus package. There is still no deal between the two sides, and Pelosi hopes to receive a response from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin after sending him a list of concerns on Friday, the California Democrat told CNN's Jake Tapper Sunday morning. Despite her differences with the White House, Pelosi remains "optimistic" and hopeful that something can be done before the election on Nov. 3.
Pelosi told Tapper the Trump administration is not moving closer to the Democrats' wishes for the next coronavirus relief bill. "They haven't yet," Pelosi said reports The Hill. "They keep moving the goalposts." Pelosi is "hoping" Mnuchin will respond to her list of concerns by Monday. She previously said a deal needed to be done by the end of last week if there was any hope of legislation passing before the election. Even though that deadline came and went, she said she will "never give up hope" that a bill could be passed in the next week.
House Speaker Pelosi on a new stimulus bill: “To do anything, though, that does not crush the virus is really official malfeasance and to crush the virus we just have to follow the science: Testing, tracing, treatment, mask wearing, ventilation, separation, and the rest” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/3CiZj25dPN— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 25, 2020
"I'm optimistic. We put pen to paper and have been writing the bill based on what we hope will be the outcome, what they said they would get back to us on," Pelosi said, adding that Congress and the White House have to act. "To do anything though that does not crush the virus is really official malfeasance," she explained. "And to crush the virus we just have to follow the science: testing, tracing, treatment, mask-wearing, ventilation, separation and the rest."
Before Pelosi came on CNN, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows lobbed the same goalpost-moving allegation at Pelosi. "We've continued to make offer after offer after offer and Nancy continues to move the goalposts," Meadows said. Meadows said the White House has found some Senate Republicans who would vote for a stimulus bill, but said, "We're not Nancy Pelosi." He later added, "We're not going to vote or opine on a bill and pass it before we've read it."
On Sunday, Pelosi said one major issue with President Donald Trump's administration is language over funding for testing. "They said we'll support the testing language with a minor touch. That was 55% of the language. We're still waiting for the final okay. And that is a central issue in all of this," she explained. "We're ready, we can change some words in the bill should they come back with some modifications." She said a bill could pass in the House this week, but it was still up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on whether or not a bill would be voted on in the Senate before it can reach Trump's desk.
There still has not been a major coronavirus relief package passed in Congress since the CARES Act in March and an April law to add more funds to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans to small businesses. The House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act in May, then another $2.2 trillion package earlier this month. McConnell refused to take these packages to a vote in the Senate, and instead proposed two $500 billion packages that both failed to earn enough support from Senate Democrats to move on.