Pelosi Puts 48-Hour Deadline On Stimulus Negotiations For Bill Before Election

( Forty eight hours.

That’s the deadline House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put on stimulus negotiations between House leadership and White House officials if they want to get a deal done before Election Day.

On Sunday, Pelosi said a deal would have to be struck by Tuesday if they wanted to get legislation passed before the November 3 election. Whether that happens or not “depends on the administration,” she said on ABC’s “This Week” program.

She continued:

“We don’t have agreement in the language yet, but I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic because, again, we’ve been back and forth on all of this.”

Pelosi has been negotiating with White House officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for a few months now. The two sides have been back and forth attempting to come to a consensus for another coronavirus economic stimulus package to help Americans.

Originally, the House passes a $3 trillion package back in May that never made its way to the Senate. Now, that proposal is down to $2.2 trillion, according to the most recent reports. The White House’s offer began around $1 trillion but has since made its way up to $1.8 trillion.

There are still big issues for the two sides to hammer out, including in areas such as funding for state and local governments, coronavirus testing, enhanced unemployment benefits and liability protections. But, according to Pelosi, there are other non-financial things to work out including:

“The testing. The tracing. The treatment. The mask wearing. The separation. The sanitation. And all that goes with it.”

She said she wanted specific details on state and national strategies for dealing with the pandemic, as well as a guarantee that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would “provide guidance.”

On Monday, Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, said he was hopeful a deal between the two sides could be struck today. But it all depends on what the administration is willing to accept. He said:

“The devil is in the details. They’re not offering anything for states and local, which we need. They’re not offering anything for earned income tax credits for the people who are most struggling but they’re working. They’re not offering to do testing pursuant to a plan. They say they’re going to take our number but then they radically changed it.”

A lot of the focus on a stimulus deal thus far has been on whether Pelosi and Mnuchin can come to an agreement. But even if they can come to agreement, another stimulus bill faces one more challenge — passage in the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he doesn’t think any large stimulus package of more than $1 trillion would pass his constituents.

So, why even work toward an agreement that is close to double that? Pelosi offered her insight into the reasoning on Sunday, saying:

“He (McConnell) said a number of things, and one of the things that he said … it was reported yesterday, that if the White House and the House come to an agreement, that he would put it on the floor.”

Putting it on the Senate floor for a vote and having it pass so it can be signed into law are two different things, though.