stimulus split
October 18, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has reportedly given the White House a deadline of 48 hours to address an "array of ... differences" in stimulus negotiations, Bloomberg reports. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for an hour and 15 minutes on Saturday night, with the agreement of speaking again on Monday about a package to help the economy through the COVID-19 crisis.

"While there was some encouraging news on testing, there remains work to do to ensure ... additional measures to address the virus' disproportionate impact on communities of color," Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, said in a tweet.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), meanwhile, "has said he would not put a potential $1.8 trillion+ deal struck by Democrats and the Trump administration on the Senate floor," Axios reports. Jeva Lange

October 9, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is casting doubt on the future of coronavirus relief.

Earlier this week, Trump pulled the plug on COVID-19 stimulus talks, saying he would tell Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to halt negotiations with Democrats "until after the election." Even though Trump has since changed his mind, McConnell told reporters Friday that a deal is still "unlikely in the next three weeks."

As of Friday morning, Trump was back on the stimulus train, tweeting that "Covid relief negotiations are moving along. Go big!" CNN and Bloomberg soon reported the White House had offered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a $1.8 trillion deal, up from its previous offer of $1.6 trillion. That includes $300 billion in state and local funding — "too low for Democrats, but in the right direction," Politico reports. Democrats want $2.2 trillion in funding, but the GOP is unwilling to top $2 trillion.

Regardless, any relief is unlikely to get far without McConnell's cooperation, and he doesn't seem willing to talk before the election. "You're never going to get a deal out of Pelosi that Republicans can support. So do you really want to divide your party within days of an election?" a source close to Senate leadership told Axios. "We do need another rescue package," McConnell acknowledged Friday, but "differences of opinion about what is needed at this particular juncture are pretty bad." Kathryn Krawczyk

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