Pelosi open to stimulus talks but not stimulus checks

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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi showed interest in continuing negotiations for stimulus relief but not for an individual bill for stimulus checks.

In a call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Pelosi was reportedly open to standalone legislation for relief for airlines and airline employees.

However, she appeared to reject the idea of authorizing a standalone relief bill for authorizing more $1,200 stimulus checks.

This is in line with the way Democratic leaders have gone about prior stimulus negotiations.

They do not want standalone relief because it would “erode leverage” for securing other items such as aid for state and local governments, food assistance, unemployment insurance, and others.

“We don’t have time to save the economy piece by piece. As Fed Chairman Powell told us, we need to act now and act big,” said House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth.

However, a lot of people agree that a piecemeal solution would be better than nothing at this point.

Based on prior discussions it seems that standalone legislation for stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and small businesses could be passed because both sides are in agreement about what the key terms of these benefits.

So it is difficult for many people to accept the fact that those benefits can only be passed if they are part of a larger package.

Pelosi responded to the invitation to pass an individual bill for stimulus checks by reiterating that she believes Trump is promoting these type of bills in his own self interest.

“Well it’s hard to see any clear sane path in anything that he is doing. But the fact is, is that he saw the political downside of his statement of walking away from the negotiations,” said Pelosi.

“All he has ever wanted in negotiation was to send out a check with his name printed on it. Forget about the virus.”

In response to being questioned about whether or not she should have done more in negotiations, Pelosi said she does not believe that is the case and pointed out that Democrats had lowered their price tag by $1.2 trillion.

“You should ask them why they don’t want to put food on the table, rent in the pockets of the American people, crush the virus, support our heroes, and the rest.”

But when questioned on relief coming for the airlines, Pelosi urged airlines to postpone layoffs and reiterated interest for a possible standalone bill.

“We will either enact Chairman DeFazio’s bipartisan stand-alone legislation or achieve this as part of a comprehensive negotiated relief bill, extending for another six months the Payroll Support Program.”

Ultimately, there are still lawmakers very interested in passing the bipartisan stimulus proposal that is priced around $1.7 trillion.

Problem Solvers co-chairman Tom Reed, a Republican from New York, has been asking his fellow lawmakers in the White House to consider the $1.7 trillion offer which he believes can get bipartisan support.

“We have been working the phones all night,” he said. “We are within inches of getting this done. Let’s not walk away.”

So it looks like we could see a standalone bill for something like aid to airlines but when it comes to stimulus checks a standalone bill will likely not succeed at this point.

There is some strong interest for a compromised package valued at around $1.7 trillion but it’s not clear that Democratic leaders such as Pelosi are willing to accept that number.

H/T

Related: Stimulus checks could still happen, Trump ready to sign into law

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