Stimulus package update: White House calls out Pelosi

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8/31/20 Update:

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the reason why more stimulus checks have not gone out along with a new stimulus package.

“She puts forth a number, suggests that she came down, and yet she’s willing to turn down $1.3 trillion of help that goes to the American people because she would rather them have nothing than to give way on what her fantasy might be,” said Meadows.

“The $1.3 trillion package would also include funding for schools, childcare and hospitals at levels (Pelosi) would agree with,” Meadows said.

At this point, it looks like officials are digging their heels in even deeper than they were at the beginning of the month.

Pelosi has repeatedly been accused of trying to hold onto an unrealistic wish list by those in the White House and in the GOP.

The initial price tag of the Democrats proposal was $3.4 trillion and it definitely included items that were not directly related to stimulating the economy during this pandemic so there is justification in calling her out for trying to push a wish list.

But to the Democrat’s defense they have been willing to drop down to $2.2 trillion for the proposal which is over a $1 trillion compromise. Meanwhile, Republicans have only increased their proposal by about $300 billion.

Thus, so far, the Democrats have definitely been more flexible with their negotiations. Still, I think people are growing impatient with Pelosi based on the fact that she could agree to a piecemeal solution that allows Americans to receive things like stimulus checks right now while items that are more “wish list” like can be resolved later.

In other words, people feel Pelosi should take the $1.3 trillion deal and try to hammer out details for the remaining items later — perhaps after the election.

If you are frustrated with the lack of progress you are not alone, even lawmakers are feeling it now.

“It’s been frustrating for me to watch this unfold as it has,” said Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina. “I would encourage everyone to remain at the negotiating table, (and) hammer out a deal recognizing that not everyone is going to get everything they want. Do not let perfect be the enemy of good.”

Congress is set to return to Washington the day after Labor Day to resume talks.

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Original Article:

Last week, I wrote about White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reaching out to Democratic leaders to try to make progress with the next stimulus package.

Unfortunately, it does not look like much progress was made on the call based on recent statements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The big issue seems to be the overall price tag.

Recall that Democrats initially introduced a $3.4 trillion price tag for the Heroes act and Republicans countered with a $1 trillion package.

Democrats have requested for Republicans to meet in the middle by going up the same amount that Democrats have gone down which is roughly $1 trillion.

“We have said again and again that we are willing to come down [and] meet them in the middle,” Pelosi said. “That would be $2.2 trillion. When they’re reading 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.”

So it sounds like Republicans are still not willing to budge on the overall price tag and that is causing things to stall.

Democrats are not interested in the “skinny proposal” which is a stimulus package valued at around half a trillion dollars. Importantly, that stimulus proposal does not contain additional stimulus checks.

Despite opposition of more spending from certain GOP members, it’s possible that this skinny proposal could pass the Senate.

So at this point it looks like we could see a skinny proposal approved, a middle ground package valued around $2 trillion approved, or simply no additional stimulus package at all.

Lawmakers do not return to Washington until September 8 and they will have a lot on their plate as the government’s budget will have to be approved by the end of the month.

Because of that, some people think this next stimulus package may not be approved until after this month or even after the November elections.

We are truly in a no man’s land right now.

H/T

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