U.S. House Democrats are signaling that progress is being made on talks about a new stimulus package. However, little indication that anything will be passed in the next two weeks before the November election, Financial Times (FT) writes.
A call recently between House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin left officials in the loop with positive spirits, FT said, with more promises to speak on Wednesday (Oct. 21).
Drew Hammill, chief of staff for Pelosi, said the conversation had been 45 minutes long and had established more clarity and common ground, showing that both sides were serious about reaching a compromise. He said there were still a few areas where things needed to be worked out.
“We’re not just down to a difference of language and a few dollars, we still have a ways to go,” Meadows said, according to FT.
The next agreement could be worth up to $2 trillion and contain more direct payments to U.S. individuals and families. That could mean around $1,200 per adult. More aid for unemployment and small business relief could also be part of the plan, according to the FT.
Pelosi told Bloomberg Television that her confidence in the process was bolstered when President Donald Trump signaled that he might be open to more funding for COVID-19 testing and tracing. But she said there were still disagreements over things like worker safety and aid for local governments, per the report.
The pandemic's early months featured fairly decisive action on aid for residents affected by its various crises. Still, for the past several months, Democrats and Republicans have been gridlocked over any further aid. Despite both parties trying to reach an agreement, they differed over the would-be price tag and what the aid would include.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote for Wednesday on a $500 billion package that falls short of the proposed $2 trillion one, reasoning that Pelosi has wasted time and "Americans need help now."
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