Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer worked with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (Mark Meadows) from late July to early August. Meadows) held negotiations for several weeks, but the negotiations were unsuccessful due to party accusations. There is a gap of hundreds of billions of dollars in overall spending levels between the two sides, and assistance to state and local governments-which is the Democratic Party’s top priority-is a huge stumbling block.
When asked about a possible vote, Hoyer told reporters: “We want to make a deal or agreement with Mnuchin and the Senate because we want to pass and sign a bill.”
Pelosi and Mnuchin have made a few calls since, and they reached an agreement this week on a short-term spending plan to keep the federal government open until December 11. But the Covid-19 relief bill did not move. .
Mnuchin told the Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday: “In the past few days, I have probably spoken to Speaker Pelosi 15 to 20 times, and we agreed to continue discussions on the CARES bill.”
However, he added that “now we are stuck” because the Democrats want at least a $2.2 trillion plan.
The legislation is expected to contain the popular provisions of the huge $3.4 trillion “HEROES Act” passed by the House of Representatives in May, including state and local funding and expanded unemployment benefits, but may be shorter than originally proposed.
With the expiration of key assistance such as federal unemployment benefits and business grants, many House Democrats are increasingly pressing for Pelosi and her leadership team to assume additional relief bills before the Chamber of Commerce takes a one-month vacation next week.
These include some core groups who were worried about the election within only 40 days, as well as Democrats in areas affected by the pandemic. About a dozen Democrats are even considering joining the long-term Republican party dissolution petition to vote on small business relief.
Many centrist Democrats argue that voters going home will not remember the large-scale legislation passed by the House of Representatives in May, which has plagued the Senate since then. As part of the “Problem Solver Caucus” of the bipartisan House of Representatives, some lawmakers drafted their own proposals of approximately $2 trillion in an attempt to restart the talks.
But Pelosi has repeatedly countered that when the Republicans refuse to accept their demands, Democrats should not propose a narrower plan.
When asked about negotiations on the next package last week, Pelosi said: “We will negotiate with the government and the Republican Party instead of ourselves.”
However, some senior Democrats, including Hoyer, privately and publicly opposed Pelosi. Hoyer said on Wednesday that he would urge a vote on the new Democrat-led bill next week to reflect the party’s willingness to negotiate, even if the Senate Republicans once again ignore it.
Hoyer said: “I am hopeful and believe that we should adopt an alternative method to deal with all the problems that we deal with in the “hero”, despite the small number and time frame, and then we will see what happens in the election. .” told reporters on Wednesday.
He said: “People are really hurting.” He added that the “best politics” for Democrats would be to propose another bill before setting off for the October recess.
Victoria Guida contributed to this report.