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Pelosi and Mnuchin make one last attempt at Covid talks before the election

Top Democrats spent much of the weekend and Monday finishing ca. 2,152-page bill before it is released Monday night. A vote could take place as soon as Wednesday, although nothing is planned, and lawmakers and aides warned that the timeline could easily slip.

The package is essentially a scaled-down version of the House’s sweeping bill passed in May, which Republicans have already rejected. It includes nearly half a trillion dollars to support state and local governments as well as a second round of stimulus control for most Americans. It also restarts the extra $ 600 per. Week in Federal Unemployment Benefit, which expired in late July.

The Democratic bill includes some new money for airlines and restaurants, two industries that have suffered dramatic economic losses since the house̵

7;s last package last spring.

Pelosi held a call with his leadership team Monday afternoon to discuss the current strategy. The full Democratic council meeting will be briefed on the bill Wednesday morning.

This week’s vote on a Democratic proposal aims to soften an increasingly vocal group of moderate Democrats who have demanded that Pelosi bring more bills on pandemic support to the floor after important emergency aid programs expired for millions of Americans.

But the House proposal, if passed, will not do much to provide real relief to the American public. The House Democrats’ proposal will have virtually no chance of becoming law, and both parties acknowledge that this is the last week to reach an agreement before Congress departs for its roughly month-long deadline before election day.

Democrats and Republicans are still more than $ 1 trillion apart in coronavirus talks, which have been halted for months despite rising pressure from desperate U.S. businesses and households. And Pelosi has repeatedly said Republicans will have to bridge over trillions of dollars, noting that she has cut $ 1 trillion from the Democrats’ original $ 3.4 trillion proposal – something GOP negotiators have been reluctant to do. do.

“We’ve come down to $ 1 trillion and they have to come up because we have to crush this virus,” Pelosi told MSNBC on Monday.

Pelosi and Mnuchin restarted quiet talks on coronavirus assistance in recent days after the two successfully navigated a short-term solution to stave off a September 30 government shutdown.

The two spoke briefly on Sunday and planned to speak again Monday night. But Pelosi told MSNBC on Monday that Republicans should still be committed to “much more” spending to reach a two-party deal on an aid package.

“When he is ready to return to the table, we are ready to have that conversation. But he has to come back with a lot more money to get the job done. So I’m hopeful. I am optimistic, “said Pelosi.

Pelosi initially instructed his committee chairmen to begin drafting a repealed bill on coronavirus last week and changed strategies after resisting calls for weeks to put a minor stimulus package on the floor. Until then, Pelosi was behind the $ 3.4 trillion Heroes Act, which the House passed in May, saying the burden was on Republicans from the Senate – not her – to take the next step.

But moderate Democrats, especially those in the most vulnerable districts, were particularly concerned about this strategy. These Democrats, staring down on the dwindling weeks before the election, have repeatedly sounded the alarm in recent weeks, urging the leadership to redouble its efforts to reach a two-party agreement.

“As of now, this is the last week that Parliament has votes before we go back to our districts,” the rep said. Josh Gottheimer (DN.J.), who co-heads the two-party House Problem Solvers Caucus, which has been pushing for two months for the two parties to negotiate an agreement. “It would be inappropriate for Congress to go home without intervening.”

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