Oct 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi: White House's latest relief offer is "one step forward, two steps back"

Nancy Pelosi speaking with reporters on Oct. 9.
Nancy Pelosi speaking with reporters on Oct. 9. Photo: Xinhua/T IngShen/liujie via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Saturday that the Trump administration's new $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief proposal was “one step forward, two steps back," in a letter to her Democratic colleagues.

Why it matters: It's the most recent rejection in ongoing stimulus negotiations throughout the coronavirus pandemic and comes days after President Trump stopped, then restarted talks with House Democrats.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a Kentucky event on Friday that a coronavirus stimulus deal is "unlikely in the next three weeks."

  • Two sources close to Senate leadership said Trump is desperate, has zero leverage to push them to support a bill crafted by Pelosi and congressional Republicans aren’t inclined to wrap themselves any tighter to a sinking ship.

What they're saying: "On Friday, the Trump Administration returned to the table with a proposal that attempted to address some of the concerns Democrats have in the coronavirus relief negotiations," Pelosi wrote.

  • "When the President talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold, rather than agreeing on language prescribing how we honor our workers, crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers."
  • "From start to finish, the Trump Administration refuses to honor our heroes and respect the safety our workforce. The funding for state and local remains sadly inadequate."

What to watch: "Despite these unaddressed concerns, I remain hopeful that yesterday’s developments will move us closer to an agreement on a relief package that addresses the health and economic crisis facing America’s families."

  • "...Democrats are awaiting language from the Administration on several provisions as the negotiations on the overall funding amount continue."
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