joe biden nancy pelosi
Former Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

President-elect Joe Biden met with top Democrats in Congress on Thursday to discuss another COVID-19 relief package, which has been stalled in Washington.
Biden spoke on a call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer about the growing need to distribute aid to Americans bearing the brunt of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“They discussed the urgent need for the Congress to come together in the lame-duck session on a bipartisan basis to pass a bill that provides resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, relief for working families and small businesses, support for state and local governments trying to keep frontline workers on the payroll, expanded unemployment insurance, and affordable health care for millions of families,” according to a press release.
Congress initially passed the CARES Act with bipartisan support at the onset of the pandemic but has since struggled to come to a consensus on a follow-up stimulus package.
Since then, the House of Representatives has passed an additional stimulus package, but the GOP-controlled Senate has bristled at the cost. Similarly, the Senate put forth a “skinny” version of a stimulus package that was shot down by Democrats as not enough to help the American people.
The White House has been inconsistent with its messaging, with President Donald Trump at times shutting down talks and other times demanding a larger bill than the Democrats’ plan.
Pelosi, who had been in talks with the White House to negotiate a bill, has been under fire from members of her own party in the House for the continued delay, as critics ask her to prioritize the needs of Americans over the politics of the bill.
Pelosi responded to critics saying that they don’t understand the nuances of the bill as conversations continue while the US braces for surges in infections in the fall and winter months.
Alongside discussing the fallout of the pandemic and how to remedy it, the trio also touched upon Biden’s legislative plans that will spur bipartisan support.
“They also discussed the importance of finding bipartisan solutions to create millions of good-paying union jobs, including through investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and development, and clean energy,” the press release read.
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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Oct. 9, 2020.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues calling the Trump administration’s latest stimulus offer “wholly insufficient.”
Over the weekend, the White House proposed a $1.8 trillion measure, a figure that’s too high for many Senate Republicans and too low for House Democrats.
On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urged Democrats to pass a measure repurposing leftover funds from the Paycheck Protection Program.
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The Trump administration’s latest stimulus proposal is “grossly inadequate,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic colleagues on Sunday, suggesting Congress and the White House are no closer to a deal on a coronavirus relief package.

Over the weekend, the White House proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus measure, angering both Senate Republicans, who consider that number far too high, and House Democrats, who passed a $2.2 trillion proposal last month.

The White House proposal includes a $400 boost in weekly unemployment insurance, $1,200 stimulus checks for US adults, and $1,000 checks for each child, The Washington Post reported.

Democrats have pushed for a $600 increase in weekly unemployment benefits and $1,200 checks for child dependents, as well as substantially more funding for state and local governments.

In her Oct. 11 letter, Pelosi decried the administration’s proposal, saying the disagreements have to do with more than the top-line numbers.

“[I]n terms of addressing testing, tracing, and treatment, what the Trump administration has offered is wholly insufficient,” she wrote.

Senate Republicans are equally unimpressed, CNN reported. “I don’t get it,” Florida Sen. Rick Scott told White House officials on a phone call this weekend, two sources told the news outlet. Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said the larger White House proposal would “deflate” the GOP base, the sources said.

With a deal between the White House and Congress seemingly out of reach, the Trump administration is also lobbying for a stimulus measure that would repurpose $135 billion in leftover funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, Politico reported.

Democrats have previously shown little interest in the idea, complaining about a lack of transparency with respect to how PPP funds were used — and seeking a much larger stimulus for an economy in recession.

In their appeal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urged an end to the impasse, which last week saw President Trump call off negotiations before reversing himself in the wake of bipartisan anger.

“The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people,” the officials wrote.

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steven mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The Treasury has upped its offer on federal coronavirus spending by some $100 billion as it continues negotiations with Democrats, Roll Call reported.
The politics news site reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered a $1.62 trillion package when talking to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday.
They didn’t reach a deal Wednesday but committed to keep trying, Roll Call said. But even if they do strike a deal, it could still struggle to make it through Congress.
The two parties have been in a standoff as Democrats seek to secure much more spending than Republicans.
One source of agreement is that both Mnuchin and Pelosi want another round of $1,200 checks to be sent to Americans.
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The Treasury is increasing the amount of money it would support for a new coronavirus spending bill as it continues to negotiate with Democrats, Roll Call reported Wednesday night.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered a $1.62 trillion package in his Wednesday talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the report said.

The increased offer is said to include more money for education and state and local governments than before.

Pelosi and Mnuchin met for 90 minutes without striking a deal. But after, both seemed hopeful of continuing negotiations and reaching some kind of agreement.

One issue that is not in question: Both sides have said they support another round of $1,200 direct payments to Americans.

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

This week has been the first major negotiation on more federal spending to address the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic since talks most recently collapsed in August.

The parties have been trying to find common ground, with Democrats seeking a more expansive package: They have proposed spending $2.2 trillion. Republicans have argued for a far smaller amount.

After meeting Pelosi, Mnuchin told Fox Business that he would aim for somewhere between $2.2 trillion and an earlier offer of about $1 trillion.

“We’re not going to do a $2.2 trillion deal,” he said.

Mnuchin said President Donald Trump “instructed us to come up significantly, so we have come up from the trillion-dollar deal that we were working on earlier.”

He said the White House proposal was in the “neighborhood” of $1.5 trillion.

The politics site Roll Call said the following measures were in the latest version of the Treasury offer. The details have not been confirmed publicly or by other news outlets.

Direct payments of $1,200 for adults and $500 for dependents, which Democrats had signaled support for.$250 billion for state and local governments ($186 billion less than Democrats proposed but $100 billion more than in the White House’s previous offer).$150 billion for education (Democrats want $225 billion).$400 a week in additional unemployment insurance ($200 less than Democrats proposed but $100 more than Senate Republicans proposed).$75 billion for COVID-19 testing and tracing (this meets Democrats’ demand, while Republicans had offered $16 billion).$175 billion for healthcare (Democrats had proposed $249 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services).$10 billion for the US Postal Service (Democrats had proposed $25 billion and then dropped it to $15 billion).$160 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program.Nearly $120 billion for businesses like restaurants and entertainment venues.$20 billion for farmers and ranchers.Negotiations are underway

It is not clear whether Senate Republicans would support such a proposal.

The White House and Senate Republicans had proposed a $1 trillion plan in the summer, and in September they floated a “skinny” plan, worth $500 billion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently called $2.2 trillion an “outlandish” request. He also dismissed the idea of getting a deal through Congress before the November 3 election when talking to reporters after Pelosi and Mnuchin’s meeting on Wednesday, The Hill reported.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The source who outlined Mnuchin’s proposal to Roll Call suggested that McConnell might consider the latest proposal viable, but a spokesman for McConnell denied this.

Democrats have not yet voted on their $2.2 trillion plan, delaying it until at least Thursday to see what the outcome of talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin are.

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