by WorldTribune Staff, October 15, 2020
While millions of Americans continue to suffer financially due to coronavirus lockdowns, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing politics with a new covid relief package, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin on Wednesday indicated that Congress is unlikely to pass the covid stimulus before the Nov. 3 election because Pelosi and her fellow House Democrats do not want to deliver anything that could be seen as a victory for President Donald Trump.
Political resistance to striking a deal prior to the election is “definitely an issue,” Mnuchin said at a Milken Institute conference, adding that the two sides “continue to make progress on certain issues but on certain issues we continue to be far apart.”
“At this point, getting something done before the election and executing on that will be difficult,” Mnuchin said.
Pelosi and her loyal Democrat troops are demanding a $2.2 trillion stimulus plan which critics say contains many spending proposals that have nothing to do with the covid pandemic.
Rep. Ro Khanna of California is one of the few Democrats who have called on Pelosi to get a relief bill passed.
Khanna tweeted on Oct. 15: “The Cares Act stopped 4 million Americans from falling into poverty. Without another deal, in the last 3 months 6 million more Americans experienced poverty. How many more will it be by Thanksgiving? New Years? We need to get the deal done.”
House Democrats “could pass a stimulus bill now that would likely garner enough support in the U.S. Senate if they agreed to the $1.8 trillion plan proposed by the Trump administration. They could then revisit the other items on their agenda after the election. But under Pelosi’s leadership, the party has chosen a path of maximum resistance and no compromise,” Breitbart News noted.
Mnuchin pointed out that Democrats are refusing the pass smaller bills on areas where Republicans and Democrats agree, insisting on a comprehensive bill that they do not plan to reach agreement on.
“Let’s not wait for the big bang and everything being perfect,” Mnuchin said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell said Tuesday he would try to bring a $500 billion package to the Senate floor next week that would include a renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program and enhanced benefits for the unemployed.
If no deal can be cut before the election, the next two windows for action would be in the post-election lame duck session of Congress, possibly riding on a new government funding bill that must pass by Dec. 11 to avoid a government shutdown, or in early 2021 in a Joe Biden administration.
But Mnuchin said the two sides will continue to talk.
“The clock will not stop,” he said. “I’d say, at this point, getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult, just given where we are in the level of details, but we’re going to try to continue to work through these issues.”