Coronavirus stimulus: Pelosi says President Trump ‘wants a bill’ but obstacles remain

Denitsa Tsekova
·Reporter
·3 min read

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) again expressed optimism that a bipartisan stimulus bill would pass before the election, even as disagreements on key provisions remain with the White House.

“We’re just about there,” Pelosi told reporters on Thursday. “The president wants a bill. The president wants a bill. That's part of the opportunity that we have.”

But lingering disagreements, along with the proximity to the election and lack of support from the GOP, could lower the chances of such a bill becoming law before the election.

The president also weighed in a tweet on Wednesday, saying he doesn’t see a way Democrats “will be willing to do what is right for our great American workers” and that they’re too focused on funding for state and local governments.

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 22: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during her weekly new conference in Washington on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during her weekly new conference in Washington on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

This comes after the president has been vocal about supporting a stimulus deal, even saying that he’ll go above the Democratic $2.2 trillion proposal.

“It only takes money, and really not that much more money of what they have in the bill,” Pelosi said. “But it's not just the money, it's how it's spent.”

Read more: Here’s what you need to know about unemployment benefits eligibility

The Democrats’ latest proposal is the revised $2.2 trillion HEROES Act, while the White House’s counterproposal is worth “almost $1.9 trillion,” according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

While the two parties have come closer on testing and tracing, disagreements remain on funding for state and local governments and liability protections. Pelosi and Mnuchin are expected to speak again today. They must reach an agreement by Friday for it to pass before the election.

At least 44 states have paid out all their funds available under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. (David Foster/Yahoo Finance)
At least 44 states have paid out all their funds available under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. (David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

‘Can’t answer for the disarray on the Senate side’

A deal struck between the White House and Democrats would likely face stiff opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate. It would need 60 votes to pass the Senate, meaning at least 13 Republican senators would have to vote in favor of the legislation.

‘I can’t answer for the disarray on the Senate side,” Pelosi said on Thursday. “It’s about the president of the United States engaging in a discussion. That’s up to him to deliver [on] what can happen on the Senate side.”

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speak about legislation for additional coronavirus aid in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 20, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speak about legislation for additional coronavirus aid in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 20, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

The GOP introduced its own $500 billion coronavirus stimulus package, which failed to advance in the Senate on Wednesday. Many Republican senators have expressed concerns about the price tag of an agreement that Democrats and the White House may reach.

“If there's a bipartisan deal, I believe there would be enough votes there to make sure that we get that across the finish line and to the President's desk,” Meadows told reporters on Wednesday.

McConnell agreed to put a bipartisan deal to a vote in the Senate — despite opposition from his party — but didn’t specify whether that will happen before or after the election.

“If a presidentially supported bill clears the House, at some point, we’ll bring it to the floor,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.

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Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.

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