Negotiations between the two big players in stimulus talks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, continued today.
The two had their talks via phone call and according to close sources these talks were “productive” discussions.
Mnuchin said Wednesday that he and Pelosi “had a comprehensive discussion on a lot of issues.”
“We continue to make progress on certain issues, but on certain issues we continue to be far apart.”
At this point, this sounds like a broken record where “progress” is made but the parties still remain worlds apart on crucial components of the relief package.
But something new did pop up.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill stated that, “one major area of disagreement continues to be that the White House lacks an understanding of the need for a national strategic testing plan” for Covid-19.
Putting together a comprehensive plan for national testing and tracing has been mentioned before but it has not been at the forefront of the discussion for the most part.
This could mean different things.
It could mean that some of the other big issues like state and local aid and liability protections are starting to get sorted out so that other issues are rising to the top of the priority list.
This could also be a political move that Democrats could be using to make Republicans look as if they are failing to respond properly to the coronavirus when it comes to this stimulus package (and in general).
Regardless, the Treasury secretary has called out Pelosi’s “all or nothing” approach and has stated that it “doesn’t make sense.”
Many others feel this way as well.
The final bit of information that came out from the recent talks is that Mnuchin conceded that “getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult.”
We pretty much already knew that was the case but it does cause one to lose a little bit of hope when it comes straight from the primary negotiator from the White House.
Unfortunately, at this point it seems that the stimulus talks have become one of the most politically charged issues in recent memory.
The negotiators are still making a push to reach an agreement before the election but the odds of that happening are becoming slimmer every day.
The two are scheduled to resume talks tomorrow.
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