After months of stalled negotiations, President Donald Trump confirmed that a coronavirus stimulus package is unlikely to pass before Election Day.
The president spoke to reporters on Tuesday, October 27, before departing the White House for a day of campaigning. While he expressed that the legislative window to pass a relief bill is small, he promised a deal would be reached post-election.
In the same breath, he also blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for seeking “bailouts” for states and cities run by Democrats.
“Nancy Pelosi is only interested in bailing out badly-run, crime-ridden Democrat cities and states. That’s all she is interested in,” Trump said. “She is not interested in helping the people.”
“After the election, we will get the best stimulus package you have ever seen,” he continued. “I think we are going to take back the House because of her.”
The Hill reported that it is “highly unlikely that Republicans will take back the House, which has been under Democratic control since the 2018 midterm elections.”
Stimulus negotiators have remained divided over the same sticking points for weeks, including Democrats’ calls for substantial state and local government funding and Republicans’ desires for employer liability shields, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Senate adjourned on Monday, October 26, after a confirmation vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, according to the Chicago Tribune. The House is already on break.
The Senate adjourned until November 9 after voting to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Fox Business said. The House is already out. However, Legislators in both chambers could be summoned to vote within 24 hours notice should an agreement be reached, the outlet continued.
Here’s what you need to know:
Pelosi Slammed the White House for Failing ‘Miserably’
The House Speaker confirmed on Tuesday, October 27, that a stimulus deal would not be reached before the election. In a letter addressed to House Democrats, Pelosi slammed the White House for “failing miserably.”
“From ‘hoax’ to hundreds of thousands dead, the White House has failed miserably – not by accident, but by decision,” she stated. “Now we know why they resisted science at the expense of lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy. Again, it was a decision to do so.”
Pelosi criticized White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ earlier comment to CNN that the pandemic was uncontrollable.
“For a long time now, Congressional Democrats have laid out a strategic plan to crush the virus,” the House speaker said. “The White House and Mitch McConnell have resisted, and on Sunday, Mark Meadows told us why, saying ‘We’re not going to control the pandemic.’”
She placed the burden of progress on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has expressed in the past that the administration’s $1.8 trillion proposal is “much higher” than what he can sell to his members, according to CNN.
“The President’s words only have meaning if he can get Mitch McConnell to take his hand off the pause button,” Pelosi continued.
Prospects for a Package Depend on Who Wins the White House & Senate, According to the Hill
Despite Trump’s optimism, the chances for a second stimulus deal following the election are still uncertain.
“It is unclear whether the two sides will be able to reach an agreement following the election, either,” The Hill reported. “The prospects for a deal will undoubtedly depend on who wins the White House and whether the GOP retains control of the Senate.”
Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut echoed those claims to Yahoo Finance on October 22. Murphy expressed concern that Republican lawmakers may not be “motivated to support a bill during a lame-duck session,” the outlet reported.