House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin resumed talks on a stalled fiscal stimulus package during a Friday afternoon phone call, Pelosi’s office said, though there was no indication it provided any breakthroughs.
“The two agreed to continue their conversation in the days ahead,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a tweet. No details on the content of the call were provided.
Democrats and the White House face long odds to complete a stimulus deal before the Nov. 3 election. They reached a stalemate on Aug. 7, with a rough gap of $1 trillion between them.
Pelosi has insisted that the White House agree to at least $2.2 trillion in new aid, including funds for cash-strapped state and local governments and $600 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits. President Donald Trump has indicated he could support up to $1.5 trillion in aid, higher than the $650 billion put forth by Senate Republicans.
House Democrats have started to work on what would be a roughly $2.4 trillion stimulus draft bill that they could take into negotiations. If talks fail over the weekend, House leaders may bring the bill to the floor for a vote in response to pressure from swing-district lawmakers who want to demonstrate a willingness to compromise from the House’s original $3.4 trillion bill passed in May.
Time is running short for a deal.
The Senate is planning to leave Washington for a month of campaigning after next week, with the exception of an expected vote on confirming Trump’s Supreme Court nomineed. The House is also planning to leave, but lawmakers from either chamber could be called back for action on a stimulus deal.
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