Pelosi, Mnuchin Point Fingers as Coronavirus Stimulus Talks Stall
The satirical newspaper The Onion published a story on Friday saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had announced they would meet to put the finishing touches on a 1,000-piece puzzle To give "Starry Night".
"We really want to solve his riddle before the election, but it's also important not to rush things that don't really go together and jam parts of the night sky," the two officials allegedly said. "It is true that we were hoping to solve the puzzle faster than we started in June, but even if we work on it day and night, it takes time to put so many pieces together." There are still some sticking points, like whether some of the edge pieces will be lost for good or if they're just in a sofa cushion somewhere in the Oval Office, but once we find these and finish the cypress tree, 'I'm all ready to show it off showcase. "
This fake news could be more encouraging than the current reality of both sides pointing the finger again, suggesting that an agreement could be reached in 11 days before the November elections if only the other side compromised.
"We could do that before the election if the president wants," Pelosi told MSNBC on Friday.
Mnuchin told reporters that the two sides had made significant progress but held Pelosi accountable for further movements. "We offered compromises," he said. "The speaker is still entrenched on a number of issues. If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal."
Both Pelosi and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows continued to be optimistic that an agreement could be reached soon. "Hopefully we can get a deal the next day or so," said Meadows. "We're still working on it, Secretary Mnuchin and I have had a chat and we're still working with their teams, but we're actually making adjustments and trying to look at the language to find a compromise."
But President Trump on Friday again criticized Pelosi's insistence on additional aid to state and local governments, claiming that the spokesman is "trying to save poorly run democratic states" (although red state governors have also asked for help). Trump again accused Pelosi of not wanting a deal before voters cast their votes.
One New Wrinkle: With many Senate Republicans opposed to aid spending under the negotiated $ 2 trillion package, some House Democrats have reportedly told Pelosi that they will not vote on bills before the election unless they get it the assurance that the Senate will too. Pelosi said Friday that Trump would have to convince members of his party. "The fact is, the president went back and forth," stop the negotiations, "" Oh, I want more money than Nancy, "" I hope she'll agree, "she said." But he has to go with them Senate Republicans speak. "
What it all means: Despite some faint hope that a deal will come about, it is increasingly unlikely that anything will be done before the elections. "The ball isn't moving much right now," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg Television. "It's very difficult. The clock is ticking ... even if you had a deal in the next few days, you have to go through committee pressures and have votes in the House and Senate. It won't be easy."
Or as Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal put it: "The incentive speaks: Nobody wants to hang up, even if there is not much more to say."
The numerous questions that remain to be clarified mean that another relief law may have to wait until 2021. Legislators could still consider measures to help coronavirus at the post-election lame duck meeting if they also have to pass a new spending bill by December 11. However, the election results could make lame duck legislation difficult.
"Postponing votes for a stimulus package until after the election increases the risk that the Trump administration will be less inclined or able to send a package through the GOP Senate," Bloomberg News reported Friday. "That would likely get worse if Trump loses to Democrat Joe Biden and Republicans lose their Senate majority - so the pandemic-ridden US economy won't get going until late January at the earliest."
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