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."

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
Oct 23, 2020 - World

Special report: Trump's hopes of nuclear deal with Putin come down to the wire

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal.

The big picture: The last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russia, New START, is due to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, two weeks after the next U.S. presidential inauguration. For the first time since the height of the Cold War, the nuclear guardrails could come off.

Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

AOC: "Extremely important" that Biden offer Bernie Sanders a Cabinet position

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!