President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the fact that a second stimulus relief package has not been passed.
Trump says he believes she doesn’t want to act before the presidential election, which is coming up fast on November 3.
The relief plan would bring Americans a variety of relief efforts, from a second round of stimulus checks to aid for small businesses to enhanced unemployment benefits. Those are obviously things that many Americans could use or need, but negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in Congress have often boiled down into recriminations with no action. The two sides have settled on very different overall price tags for a second relief plan, with Pelosi and the Democrats passing a $2.2 trillion plan and focusing on COVID-19 testing and Republicans in the U.S. Senate balking at anything more than $500 billion, per Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Trump, with Mnuchin as his top negotiator, have offered $1.8 trillion, but both Pelosi and McConnell doused water on that amount too.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump Says He Believes Pelosi Wants to ‘Wait Until After the Election’
The president has said several times that he supports a second stimulus relief plan and has urged a higher amount than McConnell has said Senate Republicans will support. The issue is that the president can’t pass it all on his own because Congress has funding authority in the U.S. Constitution. Thus, he’s left with a rhetorical bully pulpit.
He’s used it to insist that the problem is Nancy Pelosi.
“I actually think Nancy would rather wait until after the election. She thinks it’s a good point for the election but I think it’s against her because the American people know it’s her that stopping the money going to them,” Trump said on October 23, according to The New York Post.
“I’d like to see the people get the money. I don’t think she wants the people to get the money before the election,” he went on.
Mnuchin joined in that chorus, also blaming Pelosi. He’s been the administration’s point man on all of this.
“We’ve offered compromises. The speaker on a number of issues has still dug in. If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal,” Mnuchin told reporters, according to The New York Post.
He added: “We’ve made lots of progress in lots of areas but there’s still some significant differences that we’re working on.”
Pelosi Thinks It’s Trump’s Fault
Pelosi, of course, has a very different take. She thinks it’s all Trump’s fault but she did say, according to Forbes, that she still hoped a deal could be reached before the presidential election.
She slammed Trump for a back and forth posture on whether to negotiate at all and says the White House needs to embrace more funding for a comprehensive COVID-19 testing plan nationally, Forbes reported.
A deal is still possible before the election “if the president wants to,” Pelosi said, according to Business Insider.
Of late, COVID-19 testing has been at the forefront of Pelosi’s comments.
“[The White House] must allocate the resources in a way that follows CDC guidelines to crush the virus because everything else we’re talking about will just continue, and perhaps worsen, unless we crush the virus,” she said, according to Forbes.
We’ve put pen to paper; we’re writing the bill, and hopefully we’ll be able to resolve some of the differences. We could do that before the election if the President wants to. I think he does. I know we do. But we want this to be a bipartisan bill to come to the floor, one that removes all doubt that it would become the law. The President is delusional when he says we’ve turned the corner on [the virus]—we haven’t. We have miles to go.