Congress has been trying to agree on the second stimulus package over the past several months. However, their negotiations have not been successful. One of the most significant points of contention between the Democrats and Republicans ties to the price point of the package. Democrats, led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, originally wanted a package around $3 trillion, but they later said that they would compromise on a figure closer to $2.2 trillion. While Republicans are still trying to push forward a cheaper package, Pelosi has said that $2.2 trillion is the lowest amount that they will compromise on.
On Thursday, Pelosi explained that she doesn't see how they could go lower than $2.2 trillion given the state of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to Forbes. "When we go into negotiation, it's about the allocation of the resources," Pelosi said when asked about her $2.2 trillion floor in negotiations, "but it's hard to see how we can go any lower when you only have greater needs." She shared that because of how the course of the pandemic has changed over the past several months, the funding within this $2.2 trillion figure may need to be redistributed differently.
Pelosi's statement shouldn't come as too much of a surprise as the Speaker has long been an advocate for a stimulus package that is in the $2.2 to $3 trillion range. In early September, following a conversation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Pelosi told reporters that the Republicans do not understand the seriousness of this financial situation amidst the ongoing health crisis. She said at the time, "Sadly, this phone call made clear that Democrats and the White House continue to have serious differences understanding the gravity of the situation that America's working families are facing." Pelosi clarified that the two sides have a major disagreement on the price point of the package. While the Democrats are proposing a loftier stimulus package, the Republicans have not proposed a plan that is worth more than $1.3 trillion.
Most recently, Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, unveiled their latest, skinny stimulus proposal. Their plan was around $500 billion, a far cry from the figure that Democrats are seeking. In response to their proposal, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement: "Senate Republicans appear dead-set on another bill which doesn't come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere. If anyone doubts McConnell's true intent is anything but political, just look at the bill. This proposal is laden with poison pills Republicans know Democrats would never support."