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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism Sunday that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin can reach a deal on a stimulus package .
“I trust Secretary Mnuchin to represent something that can reach a solution, and I believe we come to an agreement,” Pelosi said during CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
She added a statement that is quite illuminating as to the Democratic strategy for the next relief package.
“I’d rather have a deal that puts money in people’s pockets than to have a rhetorical argument. What we will be putting forth is a proffer to say, now let us negotiate within a time frame and a dollar amount to get the job done,” Pelosi added.
“The public is going to have to see why $2.2, or now $2.4, perhaps, is necessary.”
So it appears that Pelosi is willing to negotiate with lawmakers on the other side but still feels attached to the 2.2 or $2.4 trillion packages. Normally, I would not feel optimistic because Republicans have clearly stated that figures that hi will not pass the Senate.
However it sounds like Pelosi wants to set a specific time period and also a dollar amount range for the next stimulus package. (It sounds very similar to the negotiating tactics used in legal proceedings like mediation.)
This tells me that she is pretty serious about getting something done.
And the good news is that she is not the only one confirming that negotiation talks are taking place.
Last week, Mnuchin confirmed he and Pelosi revived negotiation talks.
“I’ve probably spoken to Speaker Pelosi 15 or 20 times in the last few days on the coronavirus relief and we’ve agreed to continue to have discussions about the CARES Act,” Mnuchin said.
Multiple attempts at negotiations have failed to this point so I think everybody should be at best cautiously optimistic. However, I do think it is a good sign that senators like Pelosi are focusing on specific time periods and amounts in order to make progress on the negotiations.
The fall season has officially arrived and it looks like we still have mixed support among leaders regarding more stimulus checks.
Here’s where things currently stand.
There continues to be strong support from the White House for more direct payments.
Mnuchin said before the House Financial Services Committee: “The president and I remain committed to providing support for American workers and businesses. I believe a targeted package is still needed and the administration is ready to reach a bipartisan agreement.”
Mnuchin stated that President Trump still supports a $1,200 second stimulus checks for individuals and $2,400 for married couples and joint filers.
Mnuchin is also on the same page as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who believes that more checks or needed in order to spark economic recovery.
“Both employment and overall economic activity, however, remain well below their pre-pandemic levels, and the path ahead continues to be highly uncertain,” Powell said.
“The downturn has not fallen equally on all Americans. Those least able to bear the burden have been the most affected.”
House Democrats continue to push for more stimulus checks. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) still believes a stimulus deal can happen. However, she does not seem to be very open to negotiations.
A sizable group of Republicans is still on board for another stimulus package and many support more stimulus checks. However, there is a faction within the party that does not support additional spending for relief.
Moreover, some leaders don’t believe that an additional fiscal stimulus is needed.
Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council, stated: “I don’t think the V-shaped recovery depends on the package, but I do think a targeted package could be a great help.”
There is still currently no set timetable on when another stimulus deal might happen.
Some leaders like Pelosi have stated that a package must happen before the election but I’m not sure how confident I am that that will happen.
This Saturday, Trump will likely nominate a Supreme Court justice and that may take precedent in the Senate over additional aid.
This could potentially push out the date for another relief package until later in the year or perhaps even early next year.
Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi still believes that a stimulus bill can be pushed out by the end of this month.
“I’m optimistic. I do think that we should have an agreement. That’s what we all want.”
“The needs have only grown since May 15, four months ago… The needs for the small businesses, for the restaurants, for transportation and the rest.”
These statements come at a time when moderate Democrats have reportedly been at odds with Pelosi’s firm negotiating position.
According to Pelosi, these moderate Democrats have not directly addressed their concerns to her, as she told reporters: “they don’t say it to me.”
Other Democrats such as Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer are also optimistic that Congress will pass an additional coronavirus relief bill.
“Yes. There’s a good chance that they will feel the pressure, once they see the Democrats are not going to fold to this emaciated bill which leaves so much out,” Schumer said.
Speaking to Fox News Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff, shared some optimism, stating that he can see that there are “Republican senators and House members that are trying to come together.”
But he also called out members of Congress when he encouraged the media to head to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Thursday.
“You’re going to see members of Congress leaving Washington, D.C. to go home and pretend like they’re working hard on this particular deal when, in fact, the checks are not going out to the American people and unemployment benefits will start to cease.”
If the Senate is able to pass a bill at the end of this month, the House will have until October 1 to agree on it and President Trump may sign it as early as October 2.
This would mean that the IRS will be in a position to begin distributing direct payments to Americans around the week of October 12.
While some are more optimistic about another package passing, many members in Congress still believe that a deal will not be finalized until after the election.
Senator Mike Braun, said: “I think that, my personal opinion, not much is going to happen between now and the election.”
Because Democrats have stonewalled the negotiations, Republicans in the Senate right now are devoting time to appointing judges across the country.
Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, said, “Republican Senators, like working families across the country, had hoped the Senate would be spending this week completing more bipartisan pandemic relief.”
“Since Democrats are stonewalling pandemic relief, the Senate is using our time to confirm more well-qualified judicial nominees to lifetime positions on the federal bench.”
Meanwhile, many members of Congress are facing elections coming up and are devoted to spending the month of October campaigning so that may also slow things down.
But ultimately, there are at least some lawmakers who realize that not getting anything done soon will be a black-eye on Congress.
“Quite simply, it’ll be a stain on this institution, on 1600 Pennsylvania,” Rep. Dean Phillips stated.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.