House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are getting closer to reaching a deal on a stimulus relief deal. As the self-imposed 48-hour deadline to strike an agreement drew nearer on Tuesday, Pelosi and Mnuchin, who have been at the negotiation table for months now, talking on the phone for approximately 45 minutes in a discussion that "provided more clarity and common ground."
According to Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, the phone conversation took place at around 3 p.m. ET and lasted "for approximately 45 minutes." Although Hammill refrained from providing exact details of what was discussed, he confirmed that the two sides achieved "more clarity and common ground as they move closer to an agreement." Hammill said that both Pelosi and Mnuchin "called for the committee chairs to work to resolve differences about funding levels and language" on several "open questions."
As of Monday evening, The New York Times reported that key differences, which were therefore delaying an agreement, remained to fund for state and local governments, support for restaurants, and additional health provisions. Pelosi, who herself has spoken out about the issue of reaching an agreement on a provision targeting coronavirus testing and contact tracing, had revealed that during a phone discussion that night. Pelosi and Hammill have both stated, however, that those gaps were narrowing and a deal was now within reach.
Addressing the most recent discussion between Pelosi and Mnuchin, Hammill also addressed the 48-hour deadline the house speaker had announced Sunday. That deadline, which expired Tuesday night, she said, related “to if we want to get it done before the election,” though she later explained that the timeframe was not a deadline to reach an agreement, but rather a loose timeframe for which “both sides should "have our terms on the table" by. Hammill said that the deadline allowed Pelosi "to see that decisions could be reached and language could be exchanged, demonstrating that both sides are serious about finding a compromise."
Pelosi and Mnuchin are now set to continue negotiations Wednesday afternoon in their efforts to reach a deal as soon as possible in the hopes of having a stimulus relief bill approved before Election Day. Pelosi said to make this possible, a bill would have to be written by the end of the week. After an agreement is reached and a bill is written, it will need to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate before reaching President Donald Trump for a signature.