While there have been plenty of discussions regarding a second stimulus package, Congress has been unable to agree on a plan. Although, based on negotiations that took place on Monday, lawmakers could be one step closer to enacting another stimulus package amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to CNBC, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly made progress in their discussions on Monday.
Pelosi and Mnuchin reportedly discussed another stimulus package throughout a nearly one-hour phone conversation. During their discussion, the two "continued to narrow their differences" regarding a second stimulus plan. Pelosi's spokesperson, Drew Hammill, said that the California Democrat has directed House committee chairs to resolve those areas of disagreement with the White House. Pelosi and Mnuchin reportedly plan to discuss this matter again on Tuesday, with the hopes that their discussion will end with an official plan. Hammill noted, "The Speaker continues to hope that, by the end of the day Tuesday, we will have clarity on whether we will be able to pass a bill before the election."
This news comes a day after Pelosi set a 48-hour deadline to reach an agreement. During an interview on ABC's This Week on Sunday, the speaker said that this deadline only applies to reaching a deal before the Nov. 3 election. If negotiations extend beyond the next few days, there would not be enough time for Congress to pass a bill before that election date. "The 48 only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do," she said. "But we're saying to them we have to freeze the design on some of these things. Are we going with it or not? And what is the language? I'm optimistic, because again we've been back and forth on all this."
On Sunday night, Pelosi sent out a letter to her Democratic colleagues in which she wrote that she was optimistic that the two sides would be able to reach an agreement before Nov. 3. She noted that "we are writing [legislative] language" as negotiations continue to take place "so that we are fully prepared to move forward once we reach an agreement." Given the fact that Americans have been eagerly awaiting additional economic assistance from the government amidst the ongoing health crisis, many will likely be following along with this 48-hour deadline to see whether a deal can finally be reached.