After almost two months since Democrats and the White House officials failed to agree on a new relief bill, the Blue Party has presented a proposal that seeks to bring both sides closer together.
According to CNBC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke on Tuesday morning after Democrats unveiled a coronavirus stimulus plan that seeks to bring parties closer and iron out differences over the price tag of the bill and the measures it should include.
Democrats released the reduced $2.2 trillion legislation on Monday night as they struggle to break an impasse with the White House that has dragged on for weeks.
Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke for 50 minutes on Tuesday morning and “went over the provisions” of the latest proposal, the speaker’s spokesman Drew Hammill said. Even though the pair agreed to talk again Wednesday, it is uncertain if they moved any closer to an agreement.
In an interview with MSNBC, however, Pelosi called the conversation with Mnuchin “positive.”
Writing to House Democrats on Monday night, Pelosi said her party is “making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill” because it cuts more than $1 trillion from their original plan.
The new legislation seeks to:
• Reinstate the $600 per week enhanced unemployment benefit through January
• Send a second $1,200 direct payment to most Americans
• Give $436 billion in relief over one year to state and local governments
• Authorize more money for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for the hardest-hit businesses and industries
• Send $25 billion to airlines to cover payroll costs
• Inject $75 billion into Covid-19 testing and contact tracing efforts
• Put $225 billion into education and $57 billion into child care
• Set aside billions for rental and mortgage assistance
The main difference between both parties is that Republicans have, in particular, fought against sending additional relief to state and local governments.
The pressure to resume stimulus talks follows growing doubts about Congress’ ability to pass another relief package before the Nov. 3 election, when both parties will try to at least keep control of a chamber of Congress.