House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims she is "not budging" on the size of the next stimulus package. She told reporters on Saturday that and other Democrats will accept nothing less than $2.2 trillion in funding for the legislation. According to a report by Forbes, even Pelosi cast doubt on reaching this goal.
"We have said again and again that we are willing to come down [and] meet them in the middle," Pelosi said of the deal, following a phone call with Republican lawmakers. "That would be $2.2 trillion. When they're ready to do that, we'll be ready to discuss and negotiate. I did not get that impression on that call. That could be a very short conversation if they’re not willing to meet in the middle. We're not budging. They have to move."
Pelosi's phone conversation with Republican party leaders was reportedly about 25 minutes long. It included White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and was the first formal discussion between the two parties on the stimulus package since Aug. 7. At the time, many expected the House of Representatives to concede to the United States Senate's plan, just to get something passed. Instead, Pelosi is standing her ground, demanding that the two legislatures at least meet in the middle by some metrics.
It was the House that introduced the CARES Act back in March — the $2.2 trillion package that included the stimulus check and many of the other vital programs to sustaining the economy through the coronavirus pandemic. However, in May they tried again with the HEROES Act, raising the price to about $3 trillion. The Republican-controlled Senate ignored this bill for two months before responding with the $1 trillion HEALS Act.
What Pelosi calls a "tragic impasse" in the negotiations for this financial aid has become an overwhelming frustration to many Americans. While they disagree on key points of the package, both sides in this debate fundamentally want a stimulus package to pass. Aside from the dire need to assistance to American individuals and businesses, the politicians can lean on the accomplishment of a stimulus package in their campaigns for re-election.
This is one of the main reasons that some remain hopeful that the Senate will eventually agree to a $2 trillion stimulus package. Many political analysts see this as the best option for Republicans, though so far the senators themselves have been tight-lipped on their mindset. The Senate will be back in session on Tuesday, Sept. 8.