After talks between the White House and Nancy Pelosi were resumed last week, the agreement again seemed to drift away as both sides ran into differences. But the president now seems willing to raise his offer. Are they closer to striking a deal?
According to CNBC, President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he would raise his offer for a stimulus package above his current level of $1.8 trillion. House Democrats have passed a $2.2 trillion bill so, finally, the price tag could stop being a hurdle.
“I would. Absolutely I would. I would say more. I would go higher. Go big or go home, I said it yesterday,” the president told Fox Business.
“Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to give anything. She thinks it helps her with the election,” Trump continued. “And I don’t think so. I think it hurts her with the election because everyone knows she’s holding it up. We’re not holding it up. She’s holding it up.”
Trump’s comment came after the Labor Department’s jobless claims report showed the U.S. labor market may be slowing, for it said that the number of first-time applicants for state unemployment insurance rose to 898,000 during the week ended Oct. 10.
The sanitary crisis also shows few signs of ending, making the need for a new stimulus bill urgent.
Negotiations between the White House and Congress had been at an impasse for weeks before talks were resumed last week.
Even though both sides seemed to drift away again when Pelosi’s spokesman highlighted testing as a key difference between the two sides, Mnuchin’s comments, where, by clarifying the White House’s thoughts on funding for testing, he appeared to cede ground could provide some hope.
However, even if Mnuchin and Pelosi do reach an agreement the White House and Senate Republicans appear more out of sync over fiscal support than ever, and this could make passing a bill a difficult ordeal.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he favors a far smaller deal than either the White House or Democrats support, so it remains to be seen if a bipartisan deal may become a reality or not.