House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has offered a new stimulus update, saying that negotiations on a $1.8 trillion stimulus bill with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are "just about there." Pelosi's comments were shared on Twitter by journalist Jake Sherman, who also reported that the Democrat leader added, "I do believe that both sides want to reach an agreement. I can't answer for the disarray on the Senate side."
While Pelosi says the pair "have made progress this week," she also clarified that they remain divided on some aspects of the bill, such as "state and local funding" as well as on plans to overhaul liability laws. Sherman reported that these are "the two most difficult issues" to Pelosi at this time. In addition to her comments about coronavirus relief talks, Pelosi also commented on the new reports of foreign interference in U.S. elections. She stated that she will be briefed soon by the Director of National Intelligence. "I don't know what the DNI is up to with this. hopefully it's wholesome."
These are the two toughest issues in this negotiation.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 22, 2020
While Pelosi and Mnuchin may eventually come to an agreement on a viable proposal, there is no guarantee that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will support it. Many GOP lawmakers have already expressed criticism over previous bills proposed by House Democrats, as well as one drafted by the Trump Administration. McConnell recently proposed his own bill, a $500 billion "skinny" bill that he says is designed to meet the American public's greatest needs, However, it does not include the second round of stimulus bills.
PELOSI says it has to go through CBO, leg counsel — etc. Translation: A long way between now and floor— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 22, 2020
The bill proposed by the White House 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. This is up from the CARES Act's $500.
However, Democrats have been clear that they want to get the federal unemployment benefit amount back to $600, where it was with the CARES Act. Many also want the amount given for dependents to be $1,200. Republican leaders have been critical of these provisions, due to their desire for the next bill to be cheaper than what Democrats and the Trump administration have proposed so far.