Secretary Steven Mnuchin called it unlikely to reach an agreement between the Trump administration and Democrats in the House of Representatives led by speaker Nancy Pelosi on adopting a package of measures to stimulate the US economy in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the Finance Minister added that an agreement is unlikely to be reached before the elections on November 3 and clarified that he will continue to reach an agreement.
The White House, Democrats, and Republicans in Congress are under growing public pressure for a fiscal stimulus deal to help ordinary Americans survive the effects of the pandemic, which has killed nearly 216,000 people and caused huge damage to the national economy.
However, negotiators cannot agree on multiple priorities. Republicans in the Senate, who have a majority there, are resisting the $ 1.8 trillion proposals that Mnuchin made last week, saying it is too much. On the contrary, Pelosi and her supporters believe that this is not enough and continue to insist on the amount of 2.2 trillion dollars.
Mnuchin, who spoke by phone with Pelosi on Wednesday morning, acknowledged that he and the speaker are still “far” from agreeing on some points.
“I would say that at this stage, doing something before the election and doing it will be difficult, given where we are and the level of detail, but we are going to continue working on these issues,” Mnuchin said, speaking at the Milken Institute world conference in Washington.
In an interview with Fox Business Network, Mnuchin clarified that “We will continue to make efforts.”
“The President told me: keep going until you get it,” Mnuchin said. He added that a deal could be reached quickly if Pelosi compromises. “If we don’t pass [the economic aid bill] now, we will get it passed soon after the President wins the election.”
Drew Hammill, Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, on Wednesday called the talks productive, but added that the Trump administration’s lack of a nationwide coronavirus testing plan remains “a major cause of disagreement.”
Secretary Mnuchin and speaker Pelosi will talk again on Thursday, and their staffers will continue to “exchange documents,” Hammill said.
Mnuchin stated that he does not agree with Pelosi’s approach to the deal on the principle of “all or nothing.” He pointed out that about $ 300 billion allocated under previous aid packages has not been spent. Congress can immediately “repurpose” this money, including funds to help airlines, Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox.