All eyes are on the upcoming stimulus bill package as both Republicans and Democrats strive to negotiate a deal before November 3.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke extensively on Friday afternoon, the California Democrat’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, said.
Mnuchin reportedly offered a proposal that “attempted to address some of” the Democrats' concerns.
“Of special concern, is the absence of an agreement on a strategic plan to crush the virus. For this and other provisions, we are still awaiting language from the Administration as negotiations on the overall funding amount continue,” Hamill tweeted.
While Pelosi and Mnuchin haven’t reached an agreement, Politico notes that talks are set to continue through the weekend.
Prior to the meeting, Trump urged negotiators to “Go Big.”
“I would like to see a bigger stimulus package frankly than either the Democrats or Republicans are offering,” he told radio host Rush Limbaugh, per CNBC, reportedly hours after his administration delivered an offer to Democrats believed to be for $1.8 trillion, an increase from the $1.6 trillion that was previously proposed prior to his coronavirus diagnosis.
Earlier this month, House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion bill.
It’s been a chaotic week for stimulus bill negotiations with plenty of mixed messages confusing the American public. Trump wavered between halting negotiations until after the election and then urging Congress to pass a standalone bill.
The current proposals would be similar to the first round of stimulus payments with individuals getting $1,200, married couples filing jointly getting $2,400, and additional money coming in per dependent.
One notable change would be hinged on your latest tax returns. Depending on changes to your income, it could mean more or less money, said Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation, per CNBC.
However, the outlet notes Congress still faces plenty of obstacles when it comes to crafting the legislation and passing. Even if the two sides come to a mutual agreement, they disagree on many fundamental issues such as tax credits and food aid.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed a stimulus package is “unlikely in the next three weeks” as his focus is on confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barret prior to the election.
“I’d like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” he said, per CNBC.
As COVID infections continue to spike – Thursday found the highest single-day mark with 56,000 new infections – and unemployment numbers rise, Americans have not gotten any additional aid since the first round of checks in March as part of the CARES Act. The additional $600 a week unemployment booster also expired in July.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell urged Congress to act quickly on passing another bill saying that failing to do so would lead to a weak economic recovery.