Washington – Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday afternoon to present the Trump administration’s proposal for coronavirus relief, according to a Democratic aide, after Democrats in the House of Representatives unveiled their $ 2.2 trillion package earlier this week.
Mnuchin and Pelosi met for about an hour and a half, then Mnuchin went to the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“Today we had an intense conversation with Secretary Mnuchin, and we found areas where we are seeking further clarifications. Our talks will continue,” Pelosi said in a statement after the meeting. “Tonight we will continue our vote on the updated HEROES Act in order to formalize our offer to the Republicans in negotiations to address the health and economic disaster in our country.”
The House passed a $ 3.4 trillion proposal called the HEROES Act in May, but Republicans have refused to consider the bill in the Senate. Senate Democrats rejected a $ 500 billion Republican proposal, arguing that it was insufficient.
Democratic House of Representatives on Monday unveiled a revised version of the HEROES Act that will cost about $ 2.2 trillion. The updated HEROES Code will also beFor American families, a $ 600 weekly allowance plus unemployment insurance. The bill includes provisions to provide $ 225 billion for education and $ 436 billion in federal aid to state and local governments.
On Wednesday, McConnell said the Democrats ’$ 2 trillion proposal was” too high “and” odd, “indicating that he would not support this legislation either.
After meeting McConnell, Mnuchin told reporters that negotiators “have made a lot of progress in many areas.”
“We have work to do and we’ll see where we end,” Mnuchin said. “We will be back and do more work.”
Mnuchin said in Interview with CNBC Earlier Wednesday, he said he “hoped” for a deal.
“I say we’re going to make another serious attempt to get it done, and I think we hope we can get something done,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin said his proposal would be similar to the framework taken by the bipartisan House Problem Solving Rally, Which cost about $ 2 trillion. Pelosi and several House committee leaders rejected the plan, arguing that it “does not do what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.” The problem-solving group’s proposal included another round of direct payments of $ 1,200 to Americans, $ 450 provisions on top of unemployment insurance and more funding for the Payroll Check Protection program.
Mnuchin and Pelosi were involved in failed negotiations on a COVID-19 relief bill over the summer. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said they wereBy $ 1 trillion if Republicans raise their legislation by $ 1 trillion, which means they will support legislation that could cost around $ 2 trillion. It is not clear whether Democratic House of Representatives are willing to consider Mnuchin’s proposal costing less than $ 2 trillion.
Pelosi and Mnuchin resumed negotiations on the coronavirus proposal earlier this week.
Some Republicans in the House of Representatives are also alarmed by what they see as backroom deals to draft any legislation.
“A classic swamp… I hear from K Street about a“ deal ”between Mnuchin and Pelosi. Like I learned how bills become law, huh? This is not“ swamp draining ”, this is the swamp … and we hope realDonaldTrump will rein in Mnuchin, member Republican Congressman Chip Roy chirp Wednesday morning.
If Pelosi and Mnuchin reach an agreement, the bill will have to pass in the House of Representatives by the end of the week, with members of Congress returning to their home districts to campaign for the remainder of October. It is unclear whether such legislation will be approved in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Kimberly Brown contributed to this report.