On Wednesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi opened up about stalled negotiations surrounding the next stimulus package. Pelosi told reporters that she does not want negotiations to drag out until the end of September, which is when government funds will expire. She said that there could be grave problems if Congress is unable to agree in the next few weeks.
Pelosi shared that she hopes that negotiations will not be dragged out until the end of September, as she said that "people will die" if they are not able to grant Americans economic relief soon, per CNN. On Monday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the House of Representatives would not be holding any floor votes until Sept. 14 amidst failing stimulus deliberations. Although, the chamber could return before then if they can reach an agreement regarding a package. Members of the House are on 24-hour notice to return to Washington D.C. in case they reach a deal. The Speaker of the House has said that negotiators have not been able to come to any kind of agreement, as she said during an interview with MSNBC, "We have a vast difference in our values."
Republicans and Democrats have been blaming one another for this stimulus impasse. The most significant point of contention between the two sides ties back to the price tag for the package. Senate Republicans recently unveiled their stimulus proposal, the HEALS Act, which would cost $1 trillion. Although, that price tag does not sit well with Democrats. While House Democrats previously passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act, they have said that they would agree to a package with a $2 trillion price tag. But, Republicans have said that $2 trillion is too steep of a price for the plan. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin argued that states and local governments do not need as much money as the Democrats have proposed.
Pelosi criticized Republicans for not being able to compromise on this figure. She said that they are "disorganized, in disarray, and do not believe in governance or science." She added, "Let's meet in the middle, we've said all of that. But until they're ready to do that, it's no use sitting in a room and let them tell us that states should go bankrupt." Even though there have been issues between the two sides, Pelosi remained confident that they can come together on a package. She said on Wednesday about Republicans, "As a practical matter, they're going to have to come to the table."