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Pelosi, Mnuchin fail to strike coronavirus stimulu

After a months-long stalemate on another bipartisan coronavirus stimulu

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Pelosi, Mnuchin fail to strike coronavirus stimulu
30 Eylül 2020 - 19:42
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The House is now expected to pass its own stimulus bill late Wednesday night that would cost nearly $2.2 trillion dollars. This bill -- largely symbolic -- is a slimmed-down version of the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act the chamber passed in May.

The bill will clear the lower chamber but it's not expected to be taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate, which has scoffed at the high price tag.

MORE: Mnuchin testifies as Senate GOP poised to offer slimmer COVID-19 relief bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear that a path to a bipartisan pandemic relief deal is increasingly unlikely ahead of Election Day, saying Wednesday, "We are very, very far apart."

Manuel Balce Ceneta/APTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, center, makes a brief comment as he leaves the Capitol, Sept. 30, 2020, in Washington.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, center, makes a brief comment as he leaves the Capitol, Sept. 30, 2020, in Washington.

"We made a lot of progress over the last few days, we still don't have an agreement, but we have more work to do. And we're going to see where we end up," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Wednesday.

Mnuchin has taken over as the lead negotiator in talks between the White House and Pelosi. The two sat down for a nearly 90-minute meeting on Wednesday in her Capitol Hill office -- their first in-person discussion since bipartisan talks collapsed in early August.

Mnuchin brought forth a counteroffer to Pelosi that resembled the framework that the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus put forward earlier this month, which carried a price tag of around $1.5 trillion.

Pelosi and several House committee leaders rejected that plan, arguing that it "falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy."

"Today, Secretary Mnuchin and I had an extensive conversation and we found areas where we are seeking further clarification. Our conversations will continue," Pelosi said in a statement released by her office.

Erin Scott/ReutersHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks though the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 30, 2020.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks though the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 30, 2020.

"We will be proceeding with our vote tonight on the updated Heroes Act in order to formalize our proffer to Republicans in the negotiations to address the health and economic catastrophe in our country," the statement said.

MORE: Furloughed flight attendant's future uncertain as industry fights for aid

Earlier in the day, Pelosi and Mnuchin both sounded more optimistic about the prospect of reaching an agreement amid a tanking economy and jobless numbers that continue to skyrocket.

Sources involved with the talks said the biggest hang ups include aid for local and state governments, as well as liability protections.

The bill the House is expected to pass would restore the $600 federal unemployment benefits that expired in July and would include another round of direct checks to Americans at $1,200 per taxpayer and $500 per dependent.

MORE: House passes short-term spending bill to avoid government shutdown

The bill would also extend the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses, a benefit which expired in early August.

The legislation also includes money for restaurants, airlines, childcare centers and performance venues hit hard by the pandemic, as well as funding for the Postal Service, which Democrats have said is needed before Election Day.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, Sept. 30, 2020, in Washington, DC.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, Sept. 30, 2020, in Washington, DC.

McConnell said Wednesday that the $2.2 trillion proposal from Democrats was "too high" and "outlandish," indicating that he has no intention of supporting it.

While the Senate is not expected to vote on the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, the chamber is expected to vote Wednesday on a continuing resolution that would fund the government through December 11.

Once the Senate clears the bill, it will be sent to the president's desk just hours ahead of a midnight shutdown deadline.


Source : abcnews.go.com

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