Weeks of failed negotiations on pandemic-related aid has led to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, representing two sides of the debate on how further stimulus packages should proceed, agreeing to attempt a compromise.
A report from Reuters chronicles the past few days — an effort to issue a fifth coronavirus package fell apart on Friday (Aug. 7), and that led to President Donald Trump taking it upon himself to issue several executive actions, addressing things like unemployment boosts and eviction orders, along with student loans and payroll taxes.
Pelosi and Mnuchin both seemed willing to go for a smaller deal that would dole out some reduced measure of aid for the rest of the year, and then they'd revisit talks in January, Reuters reported. That would be after the November elections, though, which could reshape the landscape of power on Capitol Hill.
Mnuchin said he wanted to "pass legislation on things that we agree on,” he said in an interview with Fox News.
"We don’t have to get everything done at once," he said in the interview. "What we should do is get things done for the American public now, come back for another bill afterwards.”
Pelosi, along with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, decried Trump's executive orders as half-measures. Pelosi said it was essential to pass a bill, and that she had been amenable to shortening the length of time benefits are offered so as to meet Republicans' cost concerns halfway.
Discussions between the two parties have been at a standstill for weeks. Democrats have been pushing an expansive bill with protections for unemployment, personal stimulus checks, more testing capabilities and more aid for states. Republicans agreed that action needed to be taken, but took a route that was overall less expensive, with less of a safety net for unemployment.
Trump's executive orders provided $300 a week extra for unemployment benefits, deferred some taxes and imposed a partial eviction moratorium, PYMNTS reported.