Stimulus Update: Nancy Pelosi Appears Skeptical of Bipartisan Deal Being Reached

Although she stated just this week that she was "optimistic" she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could find “common ground” amid renewed stimulus relief bill talks, that optimism has reportedly faded for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. During her weekly press conference Thursday morning, Pelosi signaled that she was skeptical that a bipartisan deal could be reached, renewing fears that an agreement will not be made before the next congressional recess and the November election.

During the conference, Pelosi, who recently introduced what is being dubbed the HEROES Act 2.0, pointed to a number of issues that remain sticking points amid the ongoing negotiations, which had stalled in early August before being reignited just this week. According to reporter Jake Sherman, among those sticking points is the fact that "Republicans and Democrats don't share the same values." She pointed to the child income tax credit, which she said, when discussing a private Democratic call, Republicans "won't do anything for children" but instead "refuse to peel back a biz tax credit."

Pelosi went on to refer to the negotiations as a "dollars debate" and a "values debate." It has long held true that a price tag for the next relief package was among the key battling points. Republicans have sought to keep the bill at no more than $1 trillion, whereas Democrats believe that a more wide-sweeping bill with a much higher price tag is necessary to address the crisis. Democrats have since come down more than $1 trillion from their initial offer. Pelosi said that "the two sides are 'way off' on state and local funding and child tax credit."

Sherman also reported that Pelosi did offer some optimism about a future relief bill, claiming that the sides are "closer" on health provisions and small businesses. She added that she is hopeful about the ongoing talks because both she and Mnuchin recognize "the needs of the American people." However, Sherman noted that Pelosi also "again reiterates she does NOT believe something is better than nothing when it comes to a Covid relief bill."

According to Sherman, the two sides seem to be at a sort of impasse. While Pelosi said that she is expecting a counteroffer from the administration, the administration is reportedly expecting a counter from Pelosi. Currently, it is believed that despite these negotiations, the House of Representatives will vote on the HEROES Act 2.0 sometime Thursday. A vote, which was initially scheduled for Wednesday but was delayed, has not yet been confirmed.