Stimulus Negotiations Between Pelosi and Mnuchin Remain Uncertain

By Katherine Goelz 

On Monday, October 5th, stimulus negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seemed to be continuing. According to Pelosi’s spokesperson, Drew Hammill, Pelosi and Mnuchin had spoken for an hour on Monday and planned to continue discussions on Tuesday. However, on Tuesday afternoon, after returning to the White House from a three-day hospital stay at Walter Reed, President Trump abruptly shut down the negotiations until after the election, tweeting that Pelosi was “asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout [sic] poorly run, high crime, Democrat States” and that the House Speaker was “not negotiating in good faith.” The stock market plummeted shortly after the president’s tweet. Later in the evening, President Trump seemed to reverse course, stating that he would “IMMEDIATELY” approve bills to assist the airline industry and the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses. He also tweeted that he was “ready to sign” a separate bill providing direct stimulus payments of $1,200 to individuals. 

On Wednesday morning, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows acknowledged that the administration was “looking at the potential for [about 10] stand-alone bills.” Pelosi pushed back, stating that Democrats were unwilling to consider separate bills without an agreement to pass a more comprehensive stimulus package. However, Hammill tweeted that on Wednesday evening, Pelosi and Mnuchin had discussed the possibility of passing an individual bill to assist the airline industry. Hammill also stated that the Speaker and Treasury Secretary planned to continue negotiations on Thursday. The airline industry had been hoping for a second stimulus package that would include an extension on the $25 billion Payroll Support Program from the CARES Act, which expired on September 30th. Last week, on October 1, United Airlines and American Airlines placed over 32,000 employees on furlough, explaining that they could no longer afford to pay salaries due to a 70% decline in air travel.  

Hammill tweeted that Pelosi and Mnuchin had spoken again on Thursday afternoon. Mnuchin had indicated that President Trump was willing to consider a comprehensive stimulus package, in direct contradiction to his statements from Tuesday evening. On a call with other Democrats later in the afternoon, Pelosi stated that she expected the negotiations with Mnuchin to continue. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.