Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows recently exchanged accusations over the current stimulus bill talks, which may indicate that they are getting nowhere. Pelosi and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been engaged in stimulus talks since August, with both having previously walked away from the table at separate times. It seems the negotiations are still far from reaching an agreement, as both Pelosi and Meadows have started throwing blame.
"We've continued to make offer after offer after offer and Nancy continues to move the goalposts," Meadows during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper. In a separate interview with Tapper, Pelosi implied that it was the White House negotiators, not herself, who keeps "moving the goalposts." Previously, Pelosi indicated that she and Mnuchin were "just about there" on a bill agreement, but explained that there were some things they still had not ironed out. Liability law and "state and local funding" are just two of the things she indicated they remain divided over.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on stimulus bill negotiations: “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… We have it in our bill" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/gfdo7suibf— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 25, 2020
One concern many have is that even if Pelosi and Mnuchin come to an agreement on a stimulus bill, there is little confidence that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow GOP lawmakers will support it. Most Republicans in the Senate have already criticized previous bills proposed by both House Democrats and the Trump Administration. McConnell recently proposed his own $500 billion "skinny" bill, which he stated was designed to meet the greatest needs of Americans. Notably, it did not include a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks.
The White House proposal would have issued $1,200 checks to citizens, and also would have added a $400 weekly boost to those on unemployment. It would have also increased the amount of money given for dependents to $1,000. However, many Democrat leaders want the amount given for dependents to be $1,200. Democrats have been clear that they want to get the federal unemployment benefit amount back to $600, where it was with the CARES Act. Republican leaders have been critical of these provisions, as they want the next bill to be cheaper than what has been proposed thus far.