Stimulus 2: Pelosi Warns Writing Could Still Take ‘a While’ Despite Progress

stimulus 2 Pelosi

Getty U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

As negotiations for another coronavirus relief bill inch forward, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warns that the actual process of writing the bill could take longer.

The House speaker spoke to reporters on Thursday, October 22, to provide an update on stimulus talks, which have gripped Capitol Hill for months. Pelosi expressed progress is being made, but cautioned that passing the bill into law could take some time as she and the White House continue to iron out their differences.

“If we can resolve some of these things in the next few days, it’ll take a while to write the bill,” Pelosi said during her news conference.

She indicated that “we’re just about there” on testing, tracing and healthcare provisions — a major Democratic priority that was not previously included in the administration’s $1.8 trillion proposal.

Negotiators are also coming to terms on a provision for another round of direct stimulus checks, Pelosi added.

“We made good progress this week on the subject of crushing the virus,” she said. “We’re long overdue to have a national strategic plan based on science and funded adequately in order to get the job done.”

State and local aid, liability protections for businesses and the election provisions remain unanswered, though, she continued.

Stimulus talks have reached another stalemate as negotiators continue to debate on the overall price tag for the next relief bill.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been discussing a package in the range of $1.8 trillion to $2.2 trillion, including extended unemployment benefits and another round of stimulus checks, The Washington Post reported.

Pelosi said during her briefing that she believes “both sides want to reach an agreement” and is “still optimistic.”

The House speaker is scheduled to continue her talks with Mnuchin as they strive to pass legislation before the upcoming election.

Here’s what you need to know:


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Says He Would Be Willing to Bring a Bill to the Floor Should an Agreement Be Reached Between the White House & the House

mcconnell

GettySenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell expressed on Wednesday, October 21, a willingness to compromise on a stimulus bill — despite his previous pushback on the idea of a broad-based package. During a one-on-one interview with WSAZ, the Senate majority leader said he is ready for a “deal sometime soon.”

“People are frustrated, I’m frustrated with this. We’ve been talking to the Democrats since July. They keep insisting on doing things that are totally unrelated to the problem,” he shared with the station. “For example, the Heroes Bill in the House that my political opponent (Amy McGrath) supports included health care for illegal immigrants, tax cuts for rich people in California and New York, and oh by the way, more money for Puerto Rico than for Kentucky.”

“That was not the kind of bill that I thought was appropriate,” he added.

McConnell told WSAZ his ideal bill is the one he recently introduced to the Senate, a targeted $500 billion relief plan for small businesses. But the bill, which included additional Paycheck Protection Program funds, was shot down by Senate Democrats on October 21, CNBC reported.


Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Blames McConnell for Inaction

biden

GettyDemocratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

During the second presidential debate on Thursday, October 22, Democratic candidate Joe Biden blamed McConnell for the stall in stimulus negotiations.

The debate’s moderator, NBC’s Kristen Welker, questioned Biden on why he was unable to get a deal done as the leader of the Democratic party. Biden casted blame on the Senate majority leader, saying, “He will not be able to pass it. He does not have Republican votes.”

McConnell — who criticized Democrats of using an “all-or-nothing approach” — expressed in the past that the administration’s $1.8 trillion offer to Pelosi is “much higher” than what he can sell to his members, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is arguing the opposite.

On Wednesday, October 21, the president took to Twitter to accuse Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of stalling negotiations over aid for state and local governments in “poorly run” Democratic jurisdictions.

“Just don’t see any way Nancy Pelosi and Cryin’ Chuck Schumer will be willing to do what is right for our great American workers, or our wonderful USA itself, on Stimulus. Their primary focus is BAILING OUT poorly run (and high crime) Democrat cities and states….” he wrote.

“Should take care of our people. It wasn’t their fault that the Plague came in from China!”

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