Stimulus talks are back on, but the final amount of the second stimulus package may be far from being announced. On October 13, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the Trump administration's stimulus offer of $1.8 trillion for the third time, and she outlined the eight areas where the plan falls short.
Stimulus talks are far from over
The Democrats slammed the offer of the Republicans as "not enough," and Pelosi argued that President Trump's interest in an economic relief package comes from his desire to send another round of $1,200 stimulus checks and pump up the stock market.
Pelosi said in a letter to House Democrats obtained by The Washington Post that a "fly on the wall or whatever else it might land in the Oval Office" told her that President Trump only wants his name on a check to be distributed before the presidential elections and for the stock market to go up.
The White House's proposed plan included $1,200 direct payments to all American taxpayers, a $400 weekly federal unemployment benefit for those who lost their jobs this year, $300 billion in aid to all state and local governments, and additional funding for virus testing and nationwide contact tracing.
House Speaker Pelosi listed eight areas with significant deficiencies. They are coronavirus testing, aid to state and local governments, rental assistance, tax credits for people and families with low incomes, relief for small businesses, federal funds for states to conduct safe elections, and census funding. She called for changes to the plan.
Back to negotiating
Although the negotiations are back on the table, it appears to be deadlocked again after both Republicans and Democrats criticized the $1.8 trillion stimulus package proposal of the Trump administration. Republicans stated that the package is costly, while the Democrats contended that the package did not do enough to address the economic and public-health crises.
On October 12, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Republicans are planning t vote on a roughly $500 billion slim coronavirus aid bill right after reconvening on October 19.
McConnell's announcement came as President Trump expressed his desire for a bigger stimulus package, unaware of the rifts among the Republican party on a federal rescue package, according to CNBC.
The talks about a second stimulus check have been on-again, off-again for five months between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. This was further stretched after President Trump briefly called off the discussion regarding the stimulus check distribution but then changed his mind days later.
President Trump has doubled down on efforts to secure an efficient coronavirus relief package, with just three weeks to go before the presidential elections. The polls are not swinging in his favor, as it shows Democratic opponent Joe Biden leading in several states.
On October 12, the president called on Republicans to approve a federal rescue package as confirmation hearings got underway for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, his Supreme Court nominee. President Trump wrote on his Twitter account that Republicans should be strongly focused on completing a "wonderful stimulus package for the American people."